Kenneth L. Samuel
"O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those he redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from east and west, from north and south." - Psalm 107
How many times in any given day are we assaulted by bad news? Seems like we can barely recover from one depressing declaration before we are confronted by another. If it's not a car repair, it's a house repair. If it's not a headache, it's a heartache. If it's not a problem finding a job, it's a problem keeping a job. If it's not a mortgage meltdown, it's another financial bail-out. If it's not national security, it's the national debt. If it's not hell at the workplace, it's hell in your home life.
But in the midst of cascading deficits, constant debacles and continuous depressions, the Psalmist declares that there is Good News, which every believer in God ought to be talking about. And this Good News is not illusory; it does not deny the fact that we live in perilous times, and it does not attempt to shift our focus to an otherworldly utopia.
It is the Good News that despite all of the troubles, trials and traumas we face, love endures. The Love of God is steadfast, and it endures forever! Ain't that Good News?
It is the Good News that all of our suffering is redemptive – which is to say that God uses our pains to produce greater stamina, greater integrity and greater maturity in us. In God's processes of redemption, bad is exchanged for good. Ain't that Good News?
It is the Good News that despite all that has transpired to tear us apart, God has gathered us together – "from the lands, east and west, north and south." And it is our togetherness that gives us strength to face the challenges ahead. Ain't that Good News?
Somebody ought to say so!
Gracious God, please do not allow our recitations of bad news interrupt our declarations of the Good News! Give us hearts to believe, eyes to see and courage to speak! Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.