What to do with Bad News

How would you respond if you just heard one of your family members was beheaded on a family vacation?

Daily Bible Reading: Matt. 14-16


Matthew 14:10-13 “And he (Herod) sent, and beheaded John in the prison. And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother. And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus. When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart. KJV

This was horrible news. It was about the worst news anyone could ever hear. John the Baptist was Jesus’ cousin, and not only that, but Jesus said of His cousin: “Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist”. [Matt. 11:11]. How would you respond if you just heard one of your family members was beheaded on a family vacation? Most of us would be so overwhelmed that we would be on the phone, calling the police, family members, and would be dangerously close to going insane; and for sure we’d spiral downwards into a dark pit of depression. I’m sure Jesus was really hit below the belt on this one. Perhaps naturally He wanted to go over to Herod’s palace and crush his skull, but here we see Jesus responding quite differently. “When Jesus heard the news, He departed into a deserted place.”

The desert place, the lonely place, (for Jesus) was always a Place of Prayer. I heard someone once say that, “Disappointment is His Appointment.” In other words – when we get bad news God is saying to us, “We’ve got an appointment now, I need to see you.” And the Holy Spirit wants to draw us to a quiet place where we can receive comfort in our pain. The world’s way, and Satan’s way, of dealing with bad news is to…


Now, I’m sure Jesus was angry and upset, but He didn’t allow His emotions to control Him – He knew what to do with His emotion. He took it to prayer. I’m sure Jesus wanted a shoulder to cry on, but somehow He knew instinctively that He should go to His Father in Heaven. Jesus didn’t go to the bottle – He went to prayer.

“Jesus, I know that in this world we will face tribulation, but You said to be of good cheer because You have overcome the world. Help me, Lord – even on a daily basis to know where to go when I hear bad news. Help me to always know that I can come to You and find comfort, strength, and help in my time of need. Thank You for always being there for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

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