Not Good News, but God’s News

Sometimes, the best thing we can tell someone is the “not good news” life brings. A friend is battling cancer, right now, and he’s losing the fight. A relative has chosen to leave her spouse, because she feels she deserves better. A church copes with the sin of a pastor who left them for another bride. All these things are happening. And, for someone, it’s not good news. But it is truth.

Jeremiah was pulled from the dungeon to come to the king’s chamber secretly. The king asked for news about what God was doing or saying. Jeremiah assured him the message had not changed: Babylon will defeat you.

Jeremiah: “A dungeon? Really? Why?”
Zedekiah: “What’s God up to? What’s he saying to you about me?”
Jeremiah: “All is lost. You will be defeated. There is no hope for rescue coming.”
Zedekiah: “No, I want to hear the good stuff God has to say.”
Jeremiah: “You aren’t listening. It’s all over.”

The truth hurts. The church is hurt by the truth about the wayward pastor. The spouse and kids suffer due to the truth of a selfish act. The first visit of a hospice worker pierces the hearts of the wife and kids (and friends.) God’s news can hurt.

The balance? God hurts with you. He knows the pain of loss, of abandonment, of rejection, of death. And because he knows, he hears. And he hears because he is near.
God’s news can be painful and “not good news;” but it’s always good news that he is near, he hears, and he knows.