“What do you want to hear first, the good news or the bad news?” The good news for Paul was that the Thessalonians were holding fast in their faith and love for each other. The bad news was that all Christians in the first century were undergoing persecution, including Paul. Yet Paul was encouraged by what Timothy had told him. He concentrated on the good news.

Recently I sat up at night, unable to sleep, overwhelmed by the bad news, trying to give it all to God, but struggling with depression. Suddenly I realized that my mind was filled with bad news, and then I asked myself, “But what is the good news? How can I have hope in the midst of all of the bad news?”

I have realized that the bad news is that we live in a broken world, where our kids get divorced, and our grandkids have to go back and forth every week between parents. The bad news is that there is mental illness, lost jobs, and a lot of emotional hurt that people experience — including loved ones becoming ill and then dying. Lately, we also have to socially distance ourselves from others, just when we need each other the most!

But we can encourage each other even in the midst of the “bad news” by standing strong together in faith and love in the “good news” of the Gospel!

And sometimes, all it takes to remember the "good news" is to ask, “What is the good news?”

Don’t be overcome by the world’s bad news. Jesus has overcome the world, bringing Good News (what “gospel” means) that far surpasses any bad news!

Father God, thank you for the good news! Help me to remember that there is hope, even in the midst of bad news. Amen.

Go Deeper — Are you discouraged today by too much bad news? Don’t allow the bad news to overwhelm you, but grab hold of the Good News and share it with someone who may need some encouragement, too. Let’s all stand strong in faith and love together!

Tags: 1&2 Thessalonians 1 Thessalonians 3
Photo Credit: Roman Kraft