We Just Want Some Good News

Remember the saying "no news is good news"?

According to scholars, this phrase may have originated in 1616 from King James I of England, who allegedly said, "No news is better than evil news".

Though this was said 400 years ago, according to our daily media intake this could easily be the slogan of 2020. Month by month there has been word of global devastation in various forms: nearly 550,000 lives lost in roughly 6 months through the COVID-19 pandemic, Kobe and Gigi Bryant's tragic helicopter accident with 7 other passengers, the heartbreaking and unjust killings of many black men and women like Rayshard Brooks and Breonna Taylor, vast political unrest, natural disasters, and so on -- still, we are only halfway through the year.

So was this statement true in 1616? Is it true now? Is "no news better than bad news" here in 2020?

Celebrities like John Krasinski have started a YouTube series called, "Some Good News". This video series shows clips of people serving their community as local heroes, kids being silly for a laugh, or famous people sharing about their everyday lives. There are up to 12 million views on some of these videos, with 2.4 million subscribers. Instagram even has a page called the "Good News Movement" with similar daily postings, and 1.5 million followers showing a worldwide desire for something good.

It seems as though millions of people around the world today are longing to hear some good news.

We can speculate, through these media sources, that more than a mere desire for an absence of bad news, we all just want some good news.

The Bible and Good News

"Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." - Proverbs 25:25

The Bible agrees that we need good news. Our souls are thirsty and quenched for "good news from a far country".

Might it be that all this time, we've been searching for good news that tv broadcasters, celebrities, social media influencers cannot offer? Could it be that we are crying out for a source of good news that is from a "far country" outside of this world?

The good news that the Bible reveals for all of history, 2020 included, is the person and work of Jesus Christ.

In Luke 4, Jesus taught why he came and how he was the one referenced from Isaiah 61:1, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed." Later in Luke 4:43, Jesus said, "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose."

The good news it refers to is also translated in Greek to say "Gospel". What is the Gospel? And what is the good news we are longing for from a far country here in 2020?

"The Gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for our sins and rose again, eternally triumphant over his enemies, so that there is now no condemnation for those who believe, but only everlasting joy. That's the Gospel" (John Piper).

Much Needed News in 2020

If you are anything like me, you have felt the weight of weariness, instability, unknowns, loss, fear, longing, and even isolation in 2020. For those in Christ, let us be reminded below of our inheritance in him that is "undefiled, unfading, and kept in Heaven" for us (1 Peter 1:4). If you haven't trusted in Christ or are unsure where you are at...consider coming to Jesus who stands at the door of your life inviting you to commune with him for all of eternity (Revelation 3:20).

7 ways the Gospel is good news to us in 2020:

1. If you are weary from the countless effects of the pandemic, Jesus says "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). The Gospel offers us rest today and for all of eternity.

2. If you feel unstable with constant change, "[The Lord] will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge" (Isaiah 33:5-6). The Gospel offers us a way to "pour out our hearts before him, for God is a refuge for us" (Psalm 62:8).

3. With much unknown in the coming fall semester, God promises "for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28). The Gospel offers us a promise that all things will work for our good and his glory.

4. If you are grieving, the Gospel offers us Jesus on the throne who will one day, "wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. And he who was seated on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new'" (Revelation 21:4-5).

5. If you are fearful, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7). The Gospel gives us a way to experience "the peace of God, which transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

6. If you are longing for justice, God himself loves justice (Psalm 99:4). The Gospel gives us a Just Judge who sees the oppressed. Psalm 9:7-9, "the LORD sits enthroned forever; he has established his throne for justice, and he judges the world with righteousness; he judges the peoples with uprightness. The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble."

7. If you are feeling isolated, God sees you (Genesis 16:13), loves you, and is with you. The Gospel gives us constant communion with a pursuing God who says, "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you...you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you (Isaiah 43:1-2,4).

No news update or social media influencer can offer us the good news we ultimately long for. Jesus left his throne; he came and dwelt among us to bear the cross to defeat sin and death once and for all, that we might hear the good news of the Gospel and come to him -- Living Water (John 4:10) for our thirsty souls. This is the good news for us today in 2020:

"Then he said, 'Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.' He said to me: 'It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty, I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.'" - Revelation 21:5-6

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