What To Do When You Get Bad News

I’ve asked people and I can’t find a single person that told me “I love receiving bad news.” No one likes getting told something bad because it’s not fun and sometimes can be hurtful. If you are reading this and you love getting bad news… well…. good for you! The rest of us need some help in this area 🙂

If you are anything like me you have to work at not letting the worst case scenario play out in your mind over and over again. You have to stop yourself from thinking about something so long to the point you get stressed about it.

When I was in 6th grade I had this bright idea to go out for the school basketball team. I was pumped up about this and I couldn’t wait to find out that I made it. After a week of tryouts I was sure I was making it along with my friends. The way you found if you made it was to go and see the list in the middle of the hall that anyone could see. So I went over the last day after tryouts along with the team and other students from the school.

Well what happened was not what I pictured… I didn’t make the team! Ouch. My 6th grade mind thought the world was coming to an end. I was crushed. Looking back, I wouldn’t have picked me either 🙂 I was a skinny little white kid with no muscle who couldn’t jump!

What bad news have you gotten lately?

Maybe you got some bad news that just about crushed you this year. Maybe it was this month or this past week. Maybe you were told you wasn’t getting that job, or it could have been bad news regarding a dr. visit. It could be that you got some financial bad news and you owe someone or company a ton of money and you feel helpless.

There was a prophet in the Old Testament named Jeremiah who wrote the book of Lamentations which means “funeral songs.” He was greiving the about the destruction of a city called Jerusalem and these are the words he uses to describe how he feels about receiving this bad news about Jerusalem being destroyed:

Peace has been stripped away, and I have forgotten what prosperity is. I cry out, “My splendor is gone! Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!” The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. (Lamentations 3:17-20)

Maybe you feel like Jeremiah and you feel like there’s no hope your situation. You feel that the bad news is permament and it’s not going to change. Maybe you resonate with him because you’ve said that you’ll never forget what you’re going through.

Jeremiah understood this feeling. He couldn’t see how things were going to get better. What he saw in the present was destruction not beauty.

But even in the middle of all of this, Jeremiah uses these words of hope:

Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! As in Syriac version; Hebrew reads of the Lord keeps us from destruction. His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. (Lamentations 3:21-25)

The whole reason for writing this post was a verse God showed me in my quiet time a couple weeks ago and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. It’s been marinating on my heart and I thought it might benefit you if I shared it:

Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph. (Psalm 112:6-8)


When Psalms 112 says “no fear of bad news” David the author is trying to point us to something greater than what we see in the present. He’s trying to get us to the point where Jeremiah arrived.

He wants us to say this: Even though my current circumstances are bad, I dare to still put my hope in my God to take care of me.

The application is that your story isn’t done yet. God still has good in your future even if all hell is breaking loose right now. Even if all you see is destruction like Jeremiah saw. Even if all you feel is discouragement like I felt after not making the team.

I want to challenge you:

Choose to focus on the hope and let your heart be secure in the fact that God sees you. He knows how you feel and what you’re going through. In the end you will walk in victory!

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