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Bad News Birth Pains
Photo: Timothy Large
Any Christian who pays even the slightest attention to current events should certainly appreciate the words of Psalm 112:7: “He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”

Every morning I log onto my computer and peruse the news headlines on CNN.com. Most of them are bad. No doubt you also notice the abundance of earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters wreaking havoc worldwide. In addition to the troublesome weather patterns, numerous stories describe the instability of the job market and the high unemployment rates—a problem that further fuels the housing market crisis. The unending war in Iraq, the threat of terrorism, and general political unrest rounds out our daily dose of bad news.

Hopefully these news headlines are still merely stories for you—stories that have not impacted your life personally. Unfortunately, at least one headline affects us all: rising fuel costs. With gas prices hitting and surpassing the dreaded $4.00/gallon mark, we all know the meaning of “pain at the pump”. We also feel the crunch in the rising price of food and other goods that now cost more to transport.

Such Things Must Happen

Certainly natural disasters, unrest, and economic problems have plagued our sinful world for centuries. Still, as I digest the news each day, I am reminded of Matthew 24:6-8. Jesus warns, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.”

We know from Matthew 24 and elsewhere in Scripture that circumstances will get worse before they get better at Jesus’ second coming. While we do not suppose to know when Jesus might return, we certainly see these “birth pains” increasing in frequency and severity. Thankfully, the Bible warns us that “such things must happen”.  God is in control, and through trust in God, we need not fear bad news. Even when the news story impacts us personally, we can know that “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging” (Psalm 46:1-3).

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