When I was a student engineer on the railways, I worked in a large open plan office for a time. I sat next to Malik who always had a cheery smile. Whenever he received mail he would show me the envelope and ask me, ‘good or bad?’ if I replied ‘It’s good news Malik’ he would mark plus one on the envelope. He’d then do the rounds of the whole office, asking the same question. If someone said ‘bad news’ he marked minus one and so on. When he had finished he counted up the marks and if he had a surplus of plusses he would open it. Maybe he was a bit superstitious, but I think it was just his way of a joke.
I used to say that if we could take just one verse of the Bible - say John 3:16 - and let it sink in deep down in the depths of our being, it would change our life. I still believe that, but in a way I think I had a hidden agenda. It was my way of justifying leaving out some of the verses I perceived as being unpalatable. Like verses that included the ‘D’ word - ‘discipline.’ It wasn’t that I didn’t have a ‘head’ knowledge of them, but I avoided allowing the Holy Spirit to apply them in reality in my life. I suppose I saw them as bad news.
God of course, has always gracefully brought me back to those ‘tricky’ Words. He knew when the time was right, when I had just the right amount of desperation to want answers. It was only then that I gained fresh revelation, a deeper understanding and a deeper peace.
So I am learning that all of God’s Word is ‘Good News’ as it brings us more into the abundant life and closer to Jesus.
“You spoke to me, and I listened to every word. I belong to you, LORD God Almighty, and so your words filled my heart with joy and happiness.” Jeremiah 15:16
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12