News that Did Not Make the Headlines

Last week, we were once again faced with some terribly destressing headlines. Another mass shooting… political commentary on the latest mass shooting… debates over security issues… opinions… all dominated the news. On social media, everybody felt obliged to state their opinion as if by telling Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram their opinions were going to change one jot or tittle in the future of our culture.
 
I have promised to stay away from political commentary in this section. Instead, I would love to share with you a few things that I saw happen over the last few weeks that never made it to any news desk.
 
I saw a husband put his arm around his wife. He kissed her on the cheek. She laid her head upon his shoulder. Their love for one another was obvious and abounding despite their individual shortcomings.
 
I saw a father hug his daughter after a basketball game. He beamed with pride. He will always be the first man to love her for who she is.
 
I saw a group of teenagers gathered in the hallway outside our youth room at FBC. They were actually visiting with one another face to face. They were talking about life and what was happening at school and with their friends.
 
I saw a group of deacons gathered together discussing the direction of the church, but most importantly, discussing the needs of the widows that they serve. That same group of deacons put on a special evening where they sat around tables and visited with the widows and widowers in their care.
 
I heard a missionary couple sharing with the church all that they were doing to get the gospel to the ends of the earth. They told of lives being changed, orphans being fed, and churches being planted by the grace of God.
 
I saw the people of God gathered together for worship of the One True God. His Spirit filled the room and the heart of every worshipper. His glory was made manifest in their presence through the preaching of the word. Hearts were turned to Him.
 
A little girl excitedly shared with me a verse of scripture that she had memorized and hidden in her heart. She is the generation that we are raising up, our legacy, that will endure for years to come with the Lord’s blessing. How many will be encouraged and find Jesus as He works in and through her to grow her in grace?
 
I received a young man, who came to me believing that the Lord had called him to vocational ministry. I worked with him for weeks helping him to write his first sermon. Last Sunday night he delivered it with passion and conviction. Many of the faithful were helped and encouraged. Outsiders were encouraged to believe on Jesus and be saved.
 
A middle-aged couple with the gift of hospitality invited my family into their home for dinner. They were genuinely interested in us. They genuinely cared for us and wanted to hear our stories. They shared with us their own story of how they had served the Lord as missionaries in Honduras (something we totally unaware of until that evening). My family was encouraged to be more diligent to get to know the people around us.
 
I visited a dear saint of the Lord who had been holed up in a hospital room for weeks and desperately desired to return home. The next morning, she went home alright… home to the house that Jesus had prepared for her. She is there today being lavished with the infinite love and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
A Christian forgave a brother who wronged him. A husband repented of sexual sin and was restored to his wife. God’s people prayed and a sick person was restored to health. There was great rejoicing in heaven and on earth when a sinner repented in tears. I could go on and on.
 
I do not mean to minimize the terrible news we received last week. I only mean to encourage you. We dwell on the bad news, but the good news is rarely told. It is not seen as interesting. But the Holy Spirit tells us to think on these things.
 

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. –Philippians 4:8