Receiving Bad News
"Also our enemies said, 'Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work'" (Neh 4:11).
I opened the letter from the attorney and began to read the contents. The more I read, the sicker my stomach felt. I could not believe the words I was reading. I literally felt sick with fear. Perhaps you've had a similar experience. Maybe you got news that you've got cancer. Or someone has had an accident. Or you are being sued.
Nehemiah was rebuilding the wall in Jerusalem. The going was tough. As if things were not tough enough, he got a letter from another corrupt government official threatening to kill anyone involved in rebuilding the wall.
"But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the men of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem's walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat (Neh 4:7-9 emphasis mine).
There is but one response we should have to bad news. Pray to our God and take the necessary steps to defend ourselves against the threat. This was Nehemiah's response.
Once you begin to take these actions avoid projecting what might happen to you in the future. This is a sure-fire first step toward depression. Ask God's grace for one day at a time only.
"Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?" (Luke 12:24-26).
Turn your bad news over to the Lord. He specializes in turning crises into opportunities.