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FIRST-PERSON: There’s always good news

NASHVILLE (BP) — The world needs more good news. 

The constant flow of negative news never ceases. Every type of wickedness and evil is in the headlines every day.

As a longtime pastor and leader in my local church, I sincerely desire to see the Gospel of Jesus Christ taken to the nations. As believers, no matter our professions, we are to strive to bring glory to the one true and living God.

That’s easier said than done. In my role as a trained journalist and broadcaster, not every story is positive and uplifting.

When I was in journalism and broadcasting classes in college, I learned phrases like “If it bleeds, it leads,” and “Sensational news sells.” The professors weren’t advocating this type of news reporting but teaching about the environment we’d face in the newsroom and the pressure that would come as our media outlets competed for ratings.

During college and seminary, while reporting news for radio and TV stations, I learned first-hand how the top stories were decided.

A few times I was rattled by my sheer lack of emotion while reporting on horrible tragedies. I had become desensitized and professionally distant from the subjects of my stories, which didn’t sit right with my Spirit-led conscious.

During that time, I began serving as a youth pastor as I pursued my call to ministry.

As you can imagine, my plate was full. Between what I was learning in the classroom, reporting for a radio or TV station and then sharing with students in a local church, my young mind was being stretched as I encountered many different and difficult life circumstances.

As I completed my degree at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, I began focusing on pastoring. I assumed my days of reporting were finished, but I didn’t forget the lessons and complexities of newsgathering and reporting.

My primary questions began shifting. How was God working? How was He bringing good out of difficult situations? What did His Word say about these situations?

To be of greater help to the people I was called to shepherd, I pursued a degree in Biblical Counseling from Southern Seminary. In the back of my mind, I always felt like I was using my reporting skills in counseling sessions. Then, I would use the Scriptures and my training to try to help the person.

Usually, I could see how God was at work redeeming a difficult situation. I was always encouraged when someone would say, “I’ve never thought about it that way.”

I never thought the Lord would assign this role at Baptist Press. It’s as if I have come full circle. God has worked over a long arc to bring me to this post.

Not only am I a part of a great team of journalists, but I also have the opportunity to create our daily radio and podcast news program, “Good News for Today.”

I’ll be the first to admit that some of the stories on Good News for Today aren’t necessarily what you’d consider good news. Some days we have to report on death, destruction and devastation.

So, why would we call it Good News for Today? It is more than looking at the world through rose-colored glasses.

There is always good news because God is always at work to redeem and restore. I believe it’s more than a silver lining. He’s a just and sovereign God, full of love and compassion. Amid human suffering, He is at work.

We see from Scripture that God takes what is evil and turns it for good. (Genesis 50:15-21)

The Scriptures declare it and His people have seen it. 

Even further, He promises that for His children He is always at work for good. (Romans 8:28)

I am reminded of the chorus of the hymn “God Leads Us Along”:

“Some through the water, some through the flood
Some through the fire, but all through the blood
Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song
In the night season and all the day long”

The Sunday morning after one of the most difficult weeks of my life, we sang that hymn. Though tears streamed down my face because of deep sorrow, I knew it was true. God is always at work for good.

Despite the difficulties of a fallen world, there is always good news for today.

    About the Author

  • Brandon Porter

    Brandon Porter serves as Associate Vice President for Convention News at the SBC Executive Committee

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