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Finding grace and peace in a world of bad news

 

Television, radio, social media. The 24/7 news cycle plows forward mercilessly on our desks, in our cars and in our pockets. 

Thousands and thousands of messages and voices bombard us from the moment we wake, fighting for our attention. All we see and hear, all day long, is news. And most of it is bad.

Debt default and economic calamity are just around the corner as leaders we elected, but seemingly can't trust, fight over how to spend money we don't have. 

God doesn’t want us to have rigid rituals with Him. In the new covenant, He is more interested in having a relationship with us.

We fear that we won’t be able to afford health care for our families. 

Fighting and atrocities rage on in the Middle East. 

Terrorist activity spreads around the world. 

Pornography, sexual sin and innuendo continue their takeover of prime time television.

How do we keep the overwhelming amount of messages the world is bombarding us with from sending us into an anxiety-induced free fall? From a life of fear and depression and defeat? Which ultimately produce wrong beliefs, behaviors and addictions?

There is a beautiful verse in the psalms that says, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12). Do you want to know the secret of numbering your days and not allowing a single day of your life to be put to waste? 

The key is found two verses down where it says, “Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy” (Ps. 90:14) The word “mercy” here is the Hebrew word ‘hesed’, which means God’s grace.  

God is telling us to be satisfied every day with His grace. Which means that before you do anything -- turn on the news, read the papers, check your emails, get started on your to-do list or even drink your morning coffee -- try starting the day with Jesus and being satisfied with His grace.

But Pastor Prince, how long do I spend doing this? You don’t know how crazy things get in the morning! How much must I read, listen, or pray?

Fair enough. If morning doesn’t work for you, then find a time that best suits your schedule. It could be during your lunch break or just before you go to bed. 

The key principle here is to be satisfied daily with His grace. 

Some days, you may spend more time than others. It’s really not about the duration, but your level of satisfaction.

There are days when my heart is troubled, and just being in the Lord’s presence and thinking about His love for me fills my heart with inexplicable peace and joy. 

At such times, it takes only a few seconds for my heart to be satisfied with His grace. Other days, I feel like the Lord wants to show me something in His Word, and I end up studying it for a long time until I feel a release. 

This means that you and I can’t be legalistic about our relationship with God. God doesn’t want us to have rigid rituals with Him. In the new covenant, He is more interested in having a relationship with us.

So, enjoy His presence daily -- that’s how you redeem the time you have lost and never waste another day in bondage, fear, guilt, or addiction. 

The psalmist says, “For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Ps. 84:10). In other words, a day spent in God’s presence satisfied by His grace is better than a thousand spent elsewhere.

Think about this for a moment. There are 365 days in a year, so a thousand days is almost three years of your life. 

What this means is no matter how much time you think you have lost to being in bondage to fear or being trapped in an addiction, God can redeem those days for you by His grace. 

One day in God’s grace is equivalent to a thousand days of striving by your own efforts. 

Begin every day therefore satisfied in His grace, and God will restore to you all the years the locusts have eaten and stolen from you (see Joel 2:25).

Have a joyful, positive, and confident expectation of good because there are many good days ahead of you -- days of blessings, days of favor, and days of great grace. 

Overcome every worry, fear and wrong belief by tuning in to the right channel and hearing good news. Hope will come flooding in. 

When you hear right, you will start to believe right. And right believing…changes everything.

Pastor Joseph Prince is a leading voice in proclaiming the gospel of grace around the world through his teaching resources and television ministry. He is the author of "The Power of Right Believing: 7 Keys to Freedom From Fear, Guilt & Addiction,"He is the senior pastor of New Creation Church, a vibrant and fast-growing church in Singapore, which has a congregation of more than 30,000. He separately heads Joseph Prince Ministries, Inc, an international broadcast ministry that seeks to build, encourage and inspire people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. For the latest Joseph Prince resources, visit www.josephprince.com.