Sunday, December 22, 2013

Joy to the World

Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.

--  Luke 6:21

If it leads, it bleeds.

That's the old saying in the news business. Newspaper2Turn on the TV, log on to the Web or read a newspaper, and you're bound to come across story after story about government healthcare run amok, discouragingly-high unemployment rates and degenerate human behavior. The fact is that the media thrives off of bad news and hyping the worst possible scenarios for maximum effect. After all, good news rarely drives ratings or sells magazines.

A steady stream of good news also doesn't depress readers and paint an unrealistically gloomy picture of their circumstances; all leading to self-fulfilling economic prophesies when the public is too scared to buy a much-needed automobile or even a new pair of shoes. Of course, times really ARE tough for many people. But there are always tragedies and hard luck stories--even in the best of times. The difference is that they just don't get as much press coverage.

With bad news and scary headlines in such plentiful supply these days, how about taking a much-needed break from the media? It's easier than you might think. For one week, make the effort to avoid TV--particularly news broadcasts or programs with a political bent. Keep away from the same types of content on the Internet. And don't bother with newspapers or magazines. (Even many of the so-called entertainment magazines embrace politics.)

At the end of these quiet seven days, maybe you won't feel quite as informed as you would have had you stayed glued to the 24-hour cable news channel or surfed the Web. But odds are that you'll experience much less stress and enjoy a more positive outlook on life.

That's some sound advice for avoiding the bad news. But what about finding some good news for a change?

As Christ-followers, the Good News about Jesus is what gives us hope and a much clearer perspective of the future. And as we read all of the promises in the Bible that God has kept over the centuries, our anticipation only grows as we ponder His promises about the amazing future that awaits us. The result is much more than happiness, which comes from external things and circumstances. Instead, it's joy, which springs from within through our relationship with God. He's our loving Father. And He wants to spend eternity with us.

Are the headlines constantly bringing you down? Try some Good News for a change. It's closer than you think!

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