What makes good news good? That’s a harder question than it seems. I am not sure I always know when news is good, at least not at first. I usually think that good news is news that I want to hear, like when the doctor told me that the melanoma was completely removed and there was no reason for concern. That’s good news. Sometimes good news is not getting what I hope for, but what I need. It’s probably good news that we’re not having ice cream for dinner. Disappointing, definitely, but probably good news. Sometimes I think news is good, but it turns out not to be.
Sometimes good news is good for reasons beyond what I understand at first. It was good news that an old friend was available to meet with me on a trip. I looked forward to catching up on how life has gone in the 20 years since we last saw one another. But I never anticipated the encouragement, comfort and revitalization I gained from our two hours together. That reunion happened two years ago, and I still think about how my understanding of good news was much smaller than God’s.
Our series in Romans will do the same thing for us. God has so much more good news for us in the gospel of Jesus than we can understand at first glance. We will spend a lifetime and then eternity uncovering it. As you study Romans, pay attention to how good the news of the gospel is for your struggle with sin, for your friendships, for your approach to work, for your relationships with family, and for understanding how close God is to you at every moment. The good news keeps getting better.