by Pastor Tim Burt
Have you ever received bad news? Who hasn't? We all have at one time or another and for too many, enough to wear you down. Bad reports seem to punch you in the gut and twist your stomach in knots. The loss of a loved one, loss of a job, or some type of calamity or tragedy is never easy to hear about. Bad reports seem to come and the ones that directly affect us, we have to deal with in some way. But there are far too many other bad reports that come to our hearing than we should not pay attention to.
You may have noticed that in the Old Testament Kings were never pleased with those that couldn't wait to bear bad news. Kings often had them killed or punished. Many of us have been guilty of bringing a bad report to others that we shouldn't have. The sad part about that is, sometimes people almost seem excited or in a hurry to do it. Did you hear about Mary? She and David are getting a divorce! I just heard that David has been cheating on her.
In 2 Kings a very wicked King Sennacherib, spreads a very evil report about all the evil he is going to do to the children of Israel and how their God can do nothing to stop him. He puts a report out there that sends a chill of intimidation and fear down the backs of King Hezekiah and God's people. It’s is an ongoing tactic Satan has used throughout all time. He brings an evil report and then gets as many people to begin to repeat it as He can. The result becomes a bad report that gains in momentum. Satan's strategy is that of a terrorist with the goal of robbing all hope and faith to instead create feelings of helplessness and despair. In 2 Kings 19:6-7 God speaks through Isaiah the prophet and tells King Hezekiah, “This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid of what you have heard--those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me… I will have him cut down with the sword."
In Mark chapter 4 Jesus exposes Satan's tactic again. It says that when the Word of God is planted in our heart, “Satan comes immediately to steal the Word of God from our hearts.” It tells us that one of the ways he does that is to bring the cares of this world. An evil or bad report will definitely bring cares which are designed to steal our faith in God's love and help toward us.
The entire Bible is written to encourage us to believe God’s truth – “that with man things are impossible but with God all things are possible.” When Hezekiah heard the bad report, he did what God wants us to do – to be still and instinctively begin to pray. When King Hezekiah did that, he heard from the Spirit of God and even though a whole army was coming down upon them, God spoke these words: "Do not be afraid of what you have heard..." God then delivered them from the evil report and destruction as God supernaturally destroyed King Sennacherib.
God so desires us to move away from responding to every negative thing our five senses tell us and learn to instead pray and stand on the promises of His Word – what our spirit should be hearing from the Holy Spirit. If we are spending time in the Word of God, we will hear God’s voice and promises. With God, things are not over till they are over, and even then they aren't over. His Words say that the enemy has no right to harm us. It is a covenant promise. Yes, I know that people are hurt every day. You can't answer for every person. You can only personally learn to stand in faith for your life. It is all the more reason to pray. If you do pray and you do learn to stand on God’s covenant promises, you will begin to see evil reports change. Praying in faith and trusting God will be your greatest part and it will save you from making all the wrong moves born out of fear.
If you are a believer, then you belong to God. Luke 10:19 says, ”Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Behold means to pay attention and listen and learn. God then tells us that He gives us power over Satan. He then promises – “…nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
When my daughter Stephanie was three years old, I was at the bottom of the stairs going up to her upstairs bedroom. She was standing at the top stairs with a long window shade stick in her mouth. She started walking downstairs. I yelled out to her not to but she fell and the stick ripped a hole on the inside of her throat. Blood flowed from her mouth and was choking her. I swept her in my arms, called for Renee and we raced for the hospital. We prayed over Stephanie all the way there and took authority over the devil reminding him of God’s promise, “nothing shall by any means hurt her.” The doctor told us he could do surgery – cut the outside of her throat to sew up the inside and then sew up the outside again. Or, we could walk it out a day at a time but it would be at least a month before she could eat solid foods and she would be in great pain for a while. We felt led of God to take the latter choice. later that day we brought her home from the hospital. Within hours she was running around home like nothing happened. We had hamburgers on the table that night. We were going to feed her yogurt. Before we knew it, she grabbed a hamburger and started eating – no pain – nothing. She ate the whole thing. She never showed an adverse affect from this accident again. Praise God!
Replace evil reports with God’s promises and then pray and believe. I am not saying to ignore circumstances. Some evil reports are generalized and don't even directly pertain to you. Some are futuristic forecasting doom and gloom. Pray about those in faith be used as an agent of change over those evil reports. At the very least, you will be encouraging your own heart.
For those things that do directly affect you, pray and believe that God’s promises are true and that He is greater than any circumstance in your life. Be the bearer of hope, good news and the promise of God. Don't repeat a bad report. Instead grab the hand of the reporter and say, Come on, this situation needs prayer. Let's agree in prayer right now for this situation to change. As Proverbs 15:30 says, “…a good report gives health to the bones” Now you are a carrier of good news, of faith, and of hope. You will be used of God and be a great blessing!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt