They Do Not Fear Bad News

“They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.”
Psalm 112:7

I love this verse. I just love it. It invites us to trust God on such a practical, down to earth, everyday level. It also invites us to dig deeper, because the following questions beg to be asked:

Who does not fear bad news?

Who confidently trusts that the Lord will care for them?

Because I want to be that person. I want my relationship with God to be that solid. I want to have that kind of confidence.

So how do I get there?

My study bible opens this psalm up by saying that, “God guards the minds and actions of those who follow his commands.”

So this is our first step: follow his commands.

I know this may cause you to bristle. But let’s think about this for a second. Because the more I get to know God, the more I come to know that his commands are always and only for our good. Just as a parent stops their kids from touching a hot stove to save them from getting burned, or from eating too much candy to prevent an upset stomach, or to warn them about getting into dangerous situations to keep their futures secure and their bodies safe, so the Lord does the same for us through his commands.

When news of bad things come, I want my first response to be wonder at what God is up to behind the scenes. I want to stand firm in confidence that as I follow God with all my heart, soul and mind he will guard me, guide me and protect me in ways I could never imagine.

And when the news is particularly hard, hitting so very close to home, I want my first instinct to be to turn to him with my tears of sorrow, pain, or confusion because I know he loves and cares for me. I know that in turning to him I may not find understanding, but I know I will most certainly find peace.

How joyful are those who fear the Lord
    and delight in obeying his commands.

Psalm 112:1

They do not fear bad news;
    they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.

Psalm 112:7

Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.
John 14:21

A Lesson in Keeping Calm

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
Matthew 6:25-27

This post took me a long time to write, because in this passage Jesus is telling his disciples to do something that seems humanly impossible. He’s telling them not to worry. And not just in a general feel-good off handed way, but literally. He is saying that even clothes and food and water – the very primitive foundations of life – are not worth fussing about because the Father knows of these needs and he will provide them.

This message is intended for you and I to take literally as well.

Looking it up in the dictionary, I found that worry means to give way to anxiety or unease; to allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles. This is a perfect definition, because when are we the most anxious? When we are focusing all our attention and energy on what’s wrong.

But what does Jesus say? In verse 33 he tells us what to do when our thoughts are weighing us down and causing us to be overwhelmed with worry:

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

This is our hope. This is what he tells us to do. He tells us to pick our eyes up off our troubles and consider the Kingdom of God.

Instead of letting our hearts grow sick with worry, let’s seek the Kingdom of God by asking ourselves the following questions:

How does God want me to respond to this?

What does obedience look like here?

Instead of dwelling on this, how can I trust God?

These questions will help us start to take a step back and give us space to think about what God sees that we don’t. There is life on the other side of this practice of seeking first the Kingdom of God.

I’ve learned that if Jesus says it, there is freedom on the other side of it. We can be certain that a calmer, more peaceful mind awaits us on the other side of our obedience.

Aligned with the Right Side

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
Romans 8:28

In the section of Romans where we find verse 28, Paul is reminding the church in Rome that while we long for the day we are free from death, sin and suffering, we are not without hope. For the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness and God causes everything to work together for those who trust in him.

Every once in a while, I’ll wake up in the middle of the night full of peace and indescribable joy. It’s like on those nights the presence of God is made tangible to me, and there is nothing like it. I long for those nights. For while my life is still full of death, sin and suffering, I have this confidence that it is temporary, and even in the worst of it I am not alone. For God is with me even in my weakness.

What I’ve come to realize is that without Christ I could never hope to be at peace. The temptation and subsequent guilt of sin is too much for me to handle, and Satan is constantly trying to drown me in guilt even while Jesus is calling me to repentance and forgiveness. The pain I see others going through is more than I can bear, and Satan keeps convincing me that I am their savior even while Jesus tells me that he is both theirs and mine.

When my focus is on my shame and failures, that is all I see.

I need to put my focus on God, who is actively involved in my life. If I’m not seeing his activity, it’s because I’m deciding that the pain is more important than his sovereignty.

I’ve started trying to remind myself in the morning that I never know what might happen in a day. I even made it into a little jingle that gets stuck in my head. It keeps me looking up. On those days my first thought when there is a change in plans or something unexpected happens is what is God up to? For while there is indeed an enemy at work, God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God.

This is also where it’s been helpful to root myself in God’s Word, the Holy Bible. Without it, how would I know that God is working on my behalf? How would I know that faith makes the enemy flee?1 How would I know that my fight isn’t against people, but against the rulers, the authorities, and the powers of this dark world? Against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms?2

In a war between good and evil, God and Satan, don’t give Satan more attention than he deserves. Look for the ways God is winning, triumphing, and fouling the schemes of evil. We never know what might happen in day, so let’s make sure we’re aligning ourselves with the right side.

If you’re having a hard time seeing him at work, pray that he will show you ways that he’s working that perhaps you’ve missed. The more we practice looking for him, the more we’ll see his mighty hand at work. Today, remember that he is for you. He is working everything together for your good.


1 James 4:7
2 Ephesians 6:12