Waiting for the Other Shoe
I was so angry at myself. I was standing in the middle of a party where family and friends had gathered to celebrate my birthday, when someone broke into my thoughts, “Smile, we are having a good time.” Suddenly I realized that I was thinking about tomorrow’s potential for bad news. A medical test results would come back. The possibilities flashed through my mind at the speed of light. Malignant. Funeral. Finances. Care for my wife. Kid’s response to my death…
We Were Designed for Joy and Victory Over the Accuser
Maybe you can relate. You lose sight of a three-year-old at the zoo for a panicky two minutes. A teenager is late coming home. A letter in the mailbox from the IRS… It is amazing how quickly our imaginations can create the worst possible scenarios. We seem to be constantly waiting for the next batch of bad news. That’s common to humanity, since our forebears listened to the lying accuser in the original garden. But I have some good news today. I saw it while meditating on Psalm 112. It’s worthwhile to stop and read that.
“They will not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.” — Psalm 112:7
I will summarize. There are three actors in the picture. God is gracious, faithful and caring. The believer is designed for joy and victory over the accuser. The enemy is trying to steal the joy. It is helpful to know the background. God created us to be image-bearers. We are to reflect his goodness to all his creation. He has done everything necessary for us to be joyful recipients of his grace, full of thanksgiving and generosity.
The Psalmist gives a list of blessings God has reserved for those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands. It includes their children, their lasting wealth, their guidance, their assurance of victory over evil, their legacy, their honor, and “they will not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.” (vs. 7) Oh, and “the wicked will see this and be infuriated. They will grind their teeth in anger; they will slink away, their hopes thwarted.” (vs. 10 NLT)
His Intent for You is Good
Nothing can separate us from God’s love — not even the tragedies of this fallen world.
Why do we expect bad news? Intrinsically we know we deserve it. We have sinned and deserve to be punished. Even though as believers, we know that Jesus took our penalty, we revert to familiar feelings when the enemy’s thought is shot like a poison arrow into our minds. The accuser uses the law to condemn us, and when we are not conscious of the law being fulfilled in Jesus, we fall victims to his thievery. But the ultimate bad news was taken by Jesus — so that we could hear the good news. We know that since God is love, his every act is an expression of love. He earnestly desires us to live in the joy of his continual care. If he is with us and his intent is our good, then we can rejoice.
Since Jesus fulfilled all conditions for being blessed, we can faithfully rest in his righteousness. We fear God because his love is incomprehensible, and his grace is endless. We delight in obeying his words because they are life to us. They alone feed our hungry souls. We have lost our suspicion of him and found him to be faithful in every circumstance. Nothing can separate us from his love — not even the tragedies of this fallen world.
When the other shoe falls, it will be another expression of his love. He cares for his own and his presence makes every circumstance a piece of heaven. The enemy hates it and the world is amazed at such joy.