Searching for Good News

“Nowadays truth is the greatest news.” (Thomas Fuller, 1732)


Scanning today’s headlines, it’s difficult to discover any good news. In the Philippines, at least 21 are dead and 1,000 homes have been destroyed by Typhoon Hagupit. In Iraq, Kurds are in a stalemate battling the Islamic State militants. In Abu Dhabi, a monstrous killer stabbed to death a kindergarten teacher. In Afghanistan, a thousand additional U.S. troops will remain in response to increased Taliban attacks. In Iraq, Iranian jet airstrikes against ISIS are raising suspicions that Iraq is sharing intelligence with Tehran. In Mexico City, tens of thousands are protesting attacks on students by corrupt police and drug cartel gunmen. In California, violent crowds are protesting the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York and the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Daily news is mostly negative.


True, over the last year a few extraordinary people did exemplary things. Former Boston College baseball captain Pete Frates, suffering from ALS, unable to walk or speak, wheelchair-bound, inspired the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and raised more than $100 million to fight the disease. Ellen Stofan, chief scientist at NASA, outlined a technological roadmap for discovering potentially habitable worlds beyond earth. Kathleen Connors, surgical nurse, stopped at a Vermont diner for breakfast, then paid the bill for a neighboring pair of strangers, triggering a chain that repeated itself 46 times over the day.


Yet tough questions remain—even if a cure for ALS is found, will we acknowledge our mortality and live in light of our accountability to our Creator? Would it really be good news if we could land a human on Mars, if we’re still killing each other on this planet? Do a few random acts of kindness cancel the predominance of heartlessness in the world?


Despite rare benevolent acts, 2014 has generally been a year confirming the corruption of the human heart. Ebola, ISIS, downed planes, and racial unrest have only served to confirm our assessment of the evil rampant in the world. This year, like all the others that preceded it, had plenty of bad news.


We’re in a fix that only God can get us out of. We cannot survive unless God helps us. We cannot have tomorrow unless it comes as a gift of God.


Advent is a holy season reminding us of God’s gifts of hope, peace, joy, and love. In a despairing world, Christ’s promise of heaven brings us hope. In a warring world, Christ’s power in our lives brings us peace. In a sad world, Christ’s presence in our hearts brings us joy. In a hateful world, Christ’s pardon of our sins teaches us love.


In our century, as in all centuries, truth is the greatest news. Truth liberates our spirits, enlightens our minds, and cheers our souls. And that’s really good news. In fact, the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest news ever announced to the human race.


“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13 NLT)

Johnny R. Almond

Christian preacher and writer

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

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