Covid lockdowns, protests, starvation, missiles fired, economies collapsing, suicide bombers… the headlines are filled with things we’d rather not read, much less live through. But these are the news stories we wake up to on a regular basis and some days it’s enough to make anyone want to pull the covers back over their head. Thanks to technology-at-our-fingertips input, we are never far from a constant flood of information, some accurate and much of it driven by man’s agendas.
So, how do we get informed without getting overwhelmed? It’s important that we find trustworthy news sources, but beyond that, there are some things we can do that will help us keep the right perspective as we look at events happening throughout the world.
1. Pay attention to how you’re thinking.
There is a measure of gloom-and-doom, fear, and hopelessness that accompanies the reporting of many current events. Scripture tells us the importance of right thinking. As followers of Jesus, we are to think differently than the world, but this requires some effort. With everything that bombards us, we can’t afford not to immerse ourselves in the Word of God. Setting our minds on things above (Col. 3) and thinking on the things that Paul highlights in Phil. 4 are great places to start. Once our thoughts are moving in the right direction, the gloom, fear, and hopelessness won’t have room to land.
2. Remember the big picture.
Jesus told us nation would rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there would be wars and rumors of wars. He said His followers would be persecuted, and that the Gospel must be preached to all nations. The big picture is John 16:33: “…In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
The headlines are great reminders of the world’s tribulation. But don’t get stuck there – look higher, to God’s great plan that every nation on earth will hear the Gospel. Take heart -Jesus has not abandoned His plan!
3. Count it all joy!
God is always working to shape His followers into the image of Christ. He has promised to work everything for our good. Remember, greater is the One who lives in you than he who is in the world – so there is always a reason to be joyful, regardless of the news report!
4. See the darkness as an invitation and opportunity for the light to shine.
When you read the headlines, treat them as prayer requests. Don’t allow the darkness you read about to overwhelm the light that is in you. Jesus said that YOU are the light of the world! That means you can go to dark places and shine His light. You can go by praying, by giving your time, your money, or your energy – no matter if the darkness is in your neighborhood or in another nation, YOU can seize the opportunity to be the light that overcomes it!
Whether it’s fake news, bad news, sad news, or shocking news from around the world, let’s remember that though we are in the world, we are citizens of another Kingdom – the Kingdom of Heaven. So read the headlines and ask God how you can begin to overwhelm the darkness with the Light that lives inside you!