I remember a time when reading the morning newspaper was a pleasure. Along with buttered toast and a cup of coffee, it was a good way to start the day. After skimming the headlines, I’d read the sports page, laugh at the comics, and sometimes even try the crossword puzzle. After leaving the breakfast table, I didn’t think very much about the news until the next morning, unless I happened to tune in to the national evening news or the late local news. The world was a simpler place, or at least it seemed so.
For the followers of Jesus, there’s hope in the headlines because the headlines are accelerating our times to their God-ordained consummation.
• Living Headline to Headline
• Managing the Daily News
• The Hope of Biblical Prophecy
Living Headline to Headline
Now we live from headline to headline, and we can’t get enough of it—or away from it. We lose perspective because too many stories fill too many hours on too many platforms. Personal disputes in the royal family are reported as breathlessly as bombs falling on foreign capitals. Late-breaking developments are reported, repeated, analyzed, and argued. Stories are investigated, manipulated, and sometimes fabricated.
Most of what we hear makes us anxious, angry, upset, depressed, or cynical. Miscellaneous sounds on our phones notify us every time a politician creates a scandal, a shooter fires a gun, a court issues a ruling, a celebrity causes an uproar, or the temperature rises a degree.
It is simply not healthy to spend too many hours each day absorbing the headlines. I wouldn’t advise you to be a news junkie. The Bible says our thoughts should linger on what is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report (Philippians 4:8). No, we can’t ignore the news or live in ignorance about the world around us, but we must never let the headlines mess up our heads.
Managing the Daily News
How should the children of God manage the news of the day? How can we live in a world of breaking news yet maintain Spirit-infused cheerfulness, hopefulness, and serenity? Can we be wise consumers of our times without becoming warped by the wickedness of it all?
I want to remind you that God isn’t obsessed with headlines or surprised at the events of the day. Though He’s aware of every word on the lips of newscasters, He never gasps in surprise. He knows what’s happening behind every closed door, in every governmental agency, and in the hearts of every head of state.
Psalm 2 asks, “Why are the nations so angry? Why do they waste their time with futile plans?... The one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them” (verses 1, 4, NLT).
The psalm ends by advising leaders to act wisely and serve the Lord with reverent fear or they will be destroyed in the midst of all their activities. The final verse says, “But what joy for all who take refuge in him!” (verse 12, NLT)
Through Christ, we take refuge in the hands of the Sovereign God whose control of the events is unquestionable and whose goal for history is predetermined. It’s not the headlines that concern God as much as the faith of His children. He is concerned that we live with peace, joy, love, and hope in a world engulfed in all that’s opposed to those qualities.
As Christians, we must seek to find a fresh perspective on how to keep your heavenly perspective. We must take a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other, as it were, and weigh them. Which carries the most weight in our heart? Which contains the most accurate message? Which speaks with real authority?
We must remember we have a God who can make a way through the sea, through the wilderness, and through the corridors of time. The Way Maker matters far more than the newsmakers.
The Hope of Biblical Prophecy
We must seek to fully understand the value of biblical prophecy and its ultimate message of victory for the Lord Jesus Christ. Our Almighty God not only has today well in hand, but He also has tomorrow orchestrated according to His will with the details revealed in advance to His children. Scripture tells us what’s coming next, how to think about it, and how to prepare for it. For the followers of Jesus, there’s hope in the headlines because the headlines are accelerating our times to their God-ordained consummation.
Those who know the ancient Scriptures, the ever-present Lord Jesus, and the prophecies about the future look at this world differently. They find hope even in the headlines, and they can smile even without the comic pages.
This article was adapted from an issue of Turning Points devotional magazine.