Your fiancé confesses to you that he or she no longer wants to marry you, and has found love with another person after your 10-year relationship.
You have been laid off from your job of twenty-three years as a result of the company going bankrupt.
Your home has been burglarized causing thousands of dollars in damage, and your homeowner’s insurance lapsed a week prior.
Your only sibling has Lupus and has recently tested positive for COVID-19.
These are all quite challenging circumstances, aren’t they?
When Bad News Strikes
Devastatingly bad news can take our breath away and leave us feeling numb inside. Times like these seem to knock us to our knees or send us running through an empty field of despair and brokenness. It’s a helpless feeling when the world we know and love collapses around us like hail falling from the sky.
That recognizable feeling ripping through our souls is none other than fear itself. It pulls at the core of our soul and digs down into our spirit; it threatens to take away our faith. When we are filled with fear versus faith, our emotions tend to find delight in doing the “Tango of Danger” with our heart and soul. This dance leads us straight to the breeding ground of anger, guilt, shame, and helplessness.
Truth be told, bad news is inevitable and everyone will experience it at some point. So…
How Does One Cope With Bad News?
Pause for a moment and ask God for strength and guidance. In the passage of Nehemiah 1:1-11, the Bible tells us that Nehemiah receives the bad news that his hometown of Jerusalem is in ruin – the wall of Jerusalem torn down, the gates of the city destroyed by fire. God gave Nehemiah a difficult assignment. He was tasked with gathering the Jews who had returned to Judah after the exile to Babylon, resurrect and rebuild His city, and bring back the people of God to the Word of God.
Think about how Nehemiah may have felt when God told him what He wanted him to accomplish. Perhaps he felt nervous, uncertain, or even depressed. These are the same feelings that we might feel when nothing is certain and clear.
However, God wants us to be like Nehemiah and receive the message, breathe, and pray for God to help bring us through our sad or painful times.
Bad News Requires Courageous Prayers
God often looks to us to be a vessel to pour His message into others, rebuild broken situations, and trust Him and the overall plan He has for us.
Because God is a miracle worker, we should not be afraid to pray courageously. When Nehemiah found himself facing the king, he did not hide his sadness or pretend to be okay. Instead, he was transparent and vulnerable. Nehemiah had faith and knew that no matter the circumstance, God had already paved the way in his favor.
Nehemiah asked God to give him favor in the eyes of the king as he shared his distress. When he made his courageous request to be relieved of his duties to go and rebuild Jerusalem, he stepped out on faith and trusted God. He made a dangerously courageous request to the king, and God had already affirmed Nehemiah’s petition.
Courageous Prayers in Uncertain Times
Let’s consider the news surrounding the ever-changing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the president, our local and national officials, social media, and every news channel. There are enough different messages out here to make our heads spin.
Now, let’s think about God and His everlasting Word. The Bible shows us repeatedly how faithful, consistent, and miraculous our God is. God has every answer we need – not only in bad times but in good times as well. The only request He has for us is to pray, talk to Him. Courageously, we must know that His healing power is greater than any plague or pestilence this world may experience.
Sometimes, we neglect simple prayers.
Most times, we neglect courageous prayers.
At all times, we must pray because it is essential for our survival and, most importantly, God is standing by to hear from us. When we pray, it pleases God beyond measure. He tells us, “I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27).
So, what’s the play call?
Think about your challenging circumstances. Breathe. Now humbly and courageously pray to God about it. It does not matter what your circumstances are – the restoration of a relationship, employment, deliverance, finances, healing, or spiritual turmoil.
God hears and answers our prayers. Remember that nothing is too difficult or impossible through Him, our Father God.
It’s simple. Courageous prayers still work.