Last Updated on November 13, 2012

Anyone else find themselves avoiding headlines lately?!

Sometimes I’m not sure whether to scream or just put my head in my hands. Sometimes I wonder what kind of world I’m sending my kids into—and what do I tell them? Sometimes I wonder just what God is up to. A friend of mine is amazingly preoccupied with the economy and her family’s future (and by association the elections). Her worry is all-consuming, and it pops up in every conversation. It is amazing how our fears reveal our true idols, what we truly worship.

So what should we do with all this bad news?

Dennis Rainey, the president of FamilyLife, addressed this very issue at our Day of Prayer last week.  He encouraged us to remember the words of a sign that hung in the office of Bill Bright (the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ): “I’m no grasshopper.”

It was a reference to Numbers 13, when the Israelites are sent as spies into the Promised Land. You probably remember that what they found was great: Canaan was awesome! Milk, honey, grapes … And now the bad news: The people are, well, huge.

There were two responses from the 40 spies.

Majority opinion: “‘We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are. … we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them'” (verses 31, 33).

Minority opinion (a total of two, Caleb and Joshua): “‘Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it'” (verse 30). And it wasn’t because these guys were vision-impaired, or maybe were having illusions of grandeur. The text confirms that some of the Canaanites were ancestors of giants.

Caleb and Joshua looked not at the bad news, but at who God was, is, and will be.  And then they placed their faith in Him.

True, bad news bombards us Americans every day.  Lucky for us, our faith is not in our economy, or a bailout plan, or our notable government, or our great nation: “Some boast in chariots and some in horses, but we will boast in the name of the Lord, our God” (Psalm 20:7).

Although placing your faith in God is crucial, part of trusting in God’s goodness also involves acting in wisdom. Seek godly counsel, and develop a plan for your family. As we wait on the Lord, keep working. Proverbs and the Gospels have tons of examples of alertness, preparedness, and shrewdness in handling the resources God has given us. Look at the Proverbs 31 woman: “Her lamp does not go out at night … She is not afraid of the snow for her household, For all her household are clothed with scarlet … Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future” (vv. 18,21,25).

Talk to your kids, to your extended family, to your friends about how you’ll respond to hard times and dismal news — that your belief isn’t even that everything will be just fine for us, but instead that Romans 8:28 still holds: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

Declare warmly and with hope that God is still and always good, even when our own circumstances are suddenly, horribly bad or even evil. And remember — you’re no grasshopper.


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