Are You Scared?
He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. Psalm 112:7 (ESV)
Do you ever come across a verse in the Bible that makes you do a double-take?
You read it. Then you read it again. You wonder if it really means that in the Greek or Hebrew or Aramaic or well, any language, because you just don’t see it happening.
I ran across just such a verse last summer as I read through Psalms. It’s bugged me ever since.
I lead a life that, compared to most of the world’s population, is easy. There’s plenty of food to eat, clean water to drink, and safe air to breathe.
I go to sleep to the sound of a ceiling fan and an ocean waves app that runs through my husband’s iPhone. And I have no reason to believe that gunshots or bombs or roving bands of terrorists will interrupt my slumber.
I live a life that is unimaginable to huge numbers of the human race.
But I still worry.
I have a generally positive outlook on life. But there are the big what ifs that make my blood run cold. What if someone I love gets sick? What if my kids don’t follow the Lord? What if they mess up their lives? What if…what if…what if…and that’s where Psalm 112:7 comes in and messes with me.
“He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. (ESV)”
I’ve tried to ignore this verse, but the Holy Spirit keeps bringing it up.
I asked if it’s possible that this particular psalmist suffered from a serious case of hyperbole. (Short answer – NO).
I wondered if bad news in the Old Testament was like a hangnail or a bee sting. A quick check of Strong’s concordance shot that idea down. Turns out what the ESV renders as “bad” is a word that is more often translated as “evil”. So it’s even worse than I thought.
But I couldn’t leave well enough alone. I checked the rest of the words in the verse. Turns out that word “firm” can imply a sense of readiness.
In other words, “He isn’t afraid of bad news. He’s ready for it.”
I am encouraged by one thing. There’s no glossing over the fact that some news is bad. Being a fully committed follower of God doesn’t mean we pretend all of life is a hot fudge sundae with a few strawberries thrown in for fun.
We don’t have to act like our mom’s cancer diagnosis or our dad’s job loss or our child’s rebellion is no big deal. We don’t have to paste a smile on our face and act like it’s all good.
Some news is bad.
But you do have a choice. You can live in fear of it, either before or after it arrives, or you can get ready for it.
You get to know the only One who already knows what’s headed your way. You hang out with Him. You learn from Him.
And the more you do. The more you’ll trust.
And the more you trust, the less you have to fear.
Father, We are so thankful that You already know what our future holds. Please give us the grace to trust You more.