Wow! There has been some bad news in the local paper in the last month! Bad news at schools. Bad news at churches. Bad news in government agencies. Bad. News.
Bad news has been on the television and internet lately too. ISIS. Murder by cops. Suicide. Drought. Boko Haram. Violence toward cops. Violence in Africa. Politicians who break the law. Martyrs in Syria. Lots. Of. Bad. News.
Is there any good news? Is the world falling apart? Is it going to hell in a hand basket?
In the book of Revelation there is a verse in chapter twelve that says, "They overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony." Let me break that down for you.
"They overcame..." This group of people addressed in Revelation were under severe persecution for their faith; to the point of death. The world around them was falling apart. Things were not going well. Everywhere there was bad news. Really bad news. But they overcame it. They overcame.
"...by the blood of the Lamb..." The first of two ways that this group of people overcame the bad news around them was through the blood of Jesus. His blood shed on the cross brought forgiveness, reconciliation, access, sanctification, redemption, and adoption. In the midst of the bad news, something greater than them, something more powerful than them, something more precious than silver or gold, made them overcomers. They overcame. By the blood of the Lamb.
"... and the word of their testimony." The second way this group of people overcame the bad news around them was through publicizing the good news in them and through them. Of course, this meant that they shared the Good News of Jesus, but it also meant that they shared the good news in their own lives. They told the stories of being rescued from sin. They shared about being helped by a neighbor down the street. They told the stories of seeing injustices in their world turned around for the glory of God. They announced tales of seeing the Kingdom of God come to the towns they visited. They declared the adventures of seeing the presence of God showing up in their gatherings in homes and in the marketplace. They proclaimed accounts of seeing reconciliation among social classes, races, and generations. They revealed the chronicles of salvation, baptism, and new church plants.
It's time, in the midst of bad news around us, to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. Would you join me in intentionally sharing good news with those with whom you come into contact?
Here are a few good news stories to prime the pump:
Jesus has rescued me from a sinful lifestyle and has brought me into a restored relationship with the Father. I am forgiven. I am adopted into the family of God.
I saw the power of God bring physical healing to a little girl's back in the midst of a time of worship. Jesus heals.
I have a seen a family restored by the redemption of God. All but one family member has turned to Jesus. Where there was stress and turmoil there is now a house of peace and joy. Jesus restores.
I have seen a man choose to pursue his wife and value her in the midst of a time that normally would have created distance between them. They are experiencing unity and intimacy. Jesus delivers.
Your turn. Share some good news stories with those you come into contact with today.