"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 (NIV)
So, do you want the good news or the bad news first? Have you ever been asked that question? Most of us have. I don't know what your answer usually is but mine is always to have the bad news first so that I can end with the good news being uppermost in my mind. And, my friend, there is some bad news for us all.
There is a tragic situation in Afghanistan right now. Thousands of Americans are stranded there, hoping and praying that our government will be able to bring them home before tensions get any worse. The Christians there have been forced underground as they fear for their lives. Some of those who have helped the United States during our twenty years there are saying they know they will be put to death if they are unable to escape.
Here in our own country there are multiple fronts of bad news. Murder and other violence in the cities is rising as our police departments are fighting just to be allowed to do the jobs they were hired to do. Criminals have been set free from our jails and those arrested are often returned to the streets after only hours.
There are mayors and governors being "recalled" as the citizenry of their states rebel against how they have governed. In some states, homeless encampments line the streets accompanied by hygienic nightmares of defecation and needles used for injecting drugs.
Our national elected officials seem more interested in lining their own pockets than in representing the people who elected them. The decisions they are making are causing discord and their rhetoric is causing increasing anger and division.
And, as if you haven't already heard, there is still a virus raging despite the preventative injections that almost half the nation doesn't trust. As viruses do, it continues to mutate and we are being required to cover our faces when in public. Even our young children are enduring the onus of wearing masks when they are in school.
Add to all of this the hurricanes, tornadoes, fires and other natural disasters and we see more and more families struggling.
And of course, diseases such as cancer and heart disease continue to take their toll.
But, no matter how foreboding life seems at the moment, there is Good News. This world, and all the difficulty and tragedy it holds, will not have the ultimate say. Our Creator, before one of us came to be, had a plan in place to overcome all the hardship and sadness. He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, to live among us, take each of our sins upon Him on the cross, die a cruel death in punishment for those sins, then rise again on the third day, shattering the power of death and providing us full access to the Father. Because of Jesus, we know that death reigns no more for those who repent and believe in Him.
None of what we are seeing in this world is permanent. If you have read the Bible then you know who wins the battle of good versus evil. The enemy and his followers will be cast away, all pain shall cease. There shall be no more wars, no violence, no addiction, no disease, no death. We won't be sad ever again. The tears will cease to fall from our eyes and will be replaced with joy beyond description as we live eternally in the presence of our Savior.
Don't be fooled by what you see when you turn on the news. This world will pass away and everything with it. No matter how bad the news seems to be, the Good News crushes it in the end. God bless.