Verse 7 of Psalm 112 says:
“He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm trusting in the Lord.”
The “he” is a righteous person. Many of us in this day and age are a little rusty on our definition of righteous. So let’s replace that word with another to help us in our context. How about follower, a.k.a. follower of Jesus? We’ll swap that out and move on from there.
If you are a follower of Jesus then the Psalmist is speaking of us. That’s right, he is describing us in this verse. Or at least what we should be like.
Here’s the skinny. The point of this verse is that God is in charge of everything. If God is in charge of everything and God is good (and by the way God is good), then by default everything God does is good. The quandary truly comes when we try to define good. Good from our point of view will not always line up with good from God’s point of view. And since our definitions of good don’t align then as a matter of fact our definitions of bad can’t align either.
So news that is difficult, hurtful, life-changing,etc. isn’t inherently bad. For example, someone I know is terminally ill. Life isn’t that high of quality for this person these days. There is pain and suffering. Dying for this person wouldn’t be bad. Some would consider it a relief. This person knows Jesus. Loves Jesus. Is confident they will be with Jesus in heaven upon death. So that wouldn’t be bad, though most of would say that having someone we know pass away is bad. See the difficulty?
So when a verse challenges us to not be afraid of bad news, but to stand firm trusting in the Lord, it should rock us a bit. To me it rocked me to my core.
I know God loves me more than I love myself.
I know God loves my family more than I can love them.
I know God knows better than I what is best for me and my family.
I know God intends good for all of His children.
The challenge is remembering, when circumstances change for the worse, that God is still God. What was true about Him yesterday is still true about Him. Circumstances can’t shape our view of God, but the view of our circumstances must be shaped by our God.
Our God is bigger than anything we face. So my heart stands firm, trusting Him in the face of the next bad news to come.
(That’s a great verse, I think I should get it as a tattoo…)