It's easy to focus on what is wrong right now, since a whole lot really is wrong. First and foremost, people are dying at alarming rates, and the worst could still be ahead. Yet God is not sitting idly on the sidelines, watching and hoping. He is at work, as He always is, showing mercy and granting help. So, allow me to give you some good news in the midst of the storm.
Last Wednesday night, March 18, I met with nine of our online ministry school students via Zoom. One of them, around 70 years old herself, asked for prayer for her husband. (We'll call her Miriam and him Bob.)
He is 73 years old. He had three previous co-morbidities, including having his respiratory system messed up because of being a cop in Manhattan on 9/11. And he had come down with COVID-19. This was serious business.
As Miriam described it, Bob "felt pretty bad for a few days with chills, fever, muscle aches and basically no energy."
So we prayed for him as group, praying for Miriam as well, as they lived in a part of New York that had become a stronghold of the virus.
Yet nothing changed immediately, and Miriam herself was experiencing some symptoms as well. So her pastor, an old friend of mine, prayed for her over the phone.
She describes what happened next: "I felt something lift off my face, and I felt better right away. All praise to the Lord Jesus!"
That was the first immediate answer to prayer. But there was one more to come.
Miriam wrote, "The next day, my husband Bill was 100% better. We are rejoicing and are most grateful to Jesus for His mercy toward us. We are also so grateful for you and the others who prayed for us!"
This is really good news.
Bob's preexisting conditions, coupled with his age, made his situation precarious, but by the Lord, by His grace, made Him well. Thank God!
Bob and Miriam's children are in the medical field, working in hotspot areas, and so she wrote that "we are not slackening the bow just yet. However! We are alive and well! Because He lives, we can face the future."
So the battle is far from over, but one major victory has been won. Let us be thankful and encouraged.
There is also a good principle we can take from this piece of very good news. Simply stated, bad things will always be here. Really bad things. Things like sickness and war and death.
There will be suffering on this planet until Jesus comes—lots of suffering. And there will people we pray for who die.
But if we focus alone on the loss and the pain, we will quickly lose hope and become disheartened. And rather than helping others, we will find ourselves stuck in a deep rut of despair. Of what use is that? How does that alleviate our pain or the pain of others?
Instead, while recognizing the urgent needs around us, we must focus on the Lord and what He is doing. That will bring life and light and faith and hope. That will lift us up, enabling us to lift others up as well. Others need to hear good news as well.
I was reminded of this on March 24 when I sent out two tweets. The first was sobering, meant to remind us of the scope of this deadly virus while urging us not to judge.
I tweeted, "In the last few days in the States, a Pentecostal pastor died of COVID-19, a cessationist pastor died of the virus, and an apostolic leader is in ICU with the virus. It attacks and kills indiscriminately. Let's be wise, vigilant, and prayerful. Intervene with mercy, Lord!"
As of this writing, this was retweeted 28 times and liked 205 times.
The same day, I tweeted out the testimony shared here in this article: "Here's some good news in the midst of the bad news. The husband of one of our online students, in his 70s with pre-existing conditions, came down with COVID-19, experiencing symptoms for days. The day after receiving prayer, he is 100% symptom-free and rejoicing. Thank God!"
As of this writing, this was retweeted 93 times and liked 769 times.
The takeaway is obvious. Good news is uplifting. Good news is encouraging. People want to share good news.
The book of Proverbs even states that "good news gives health to the bones" (Prov. 15:30b, NIV). Yes, "Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land" (Prov. 25:25).
So, let's find some good news, and let's share it widely.
In a day like today, people really need to hear it.
As it is written in a very different context, "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of them who bring good news" (Isa. 52:7a).
Let your feet be beautiful today. Bring some good news to others.
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Evangelicals at the Crossroads: Will We Pass the Trump Test? Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter, or YouTube.
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