A farmer who had experienced several bad years went to see the president of the local bank. “I’ve got some good news and some bad news to tell you. Which would you like to hear first?” he asked. “Well, tell the bad news first and get it over with,” the banker replied.
“Okay,” said the farmer, “Because of the bad drought this year, I won’t be able to pay anything on my mortgage this year, either on the principle or the interest.” “That is bad news,” the banker responded. “It gets worse,” sighed the farmer, “I also won’t be able to pay anything on the loan for the machinery I bought.” “Wow, that is bad!” exclaimed the banker. “It’s worse than that. You remember I also borrowed money to buy seeds and fertilizer and other supplies. Well, I can’t pay anything on those items either.” “That is awful,” cried the banker, “Please, tell me what the good news is.” “The good news,” replied the farmer with a smile, “is that I intend to keep on doing business with you.”
Friends, no banker in his right mind would find comfort in the farmer’s “good news.” It is unlikely that any bank would keep doing business with someone who never paid back any of the money he had borrowed. Yet in a way, this story reflects an important Biblical truth: No matter how many times we fail, God keeps doing business with us. If we are genuine Christians, we can be confident that God will never give up on us. Even though we may say or do pretty stupid (and sinful) things, even though our spiritual enthusiasm may fluctuate greatly, even though our priorities may get all messed up, God is not going to let us go. As 2 Timothy 2:13 says, “If we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot disown Himself.”
That is indeed “good news” for us. In fact, it is great news. We must remember, however, that this is a promise which can be claimed only by those who are trusting in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The only reason God is willing to “do business” with any of us is because of what Jesus did for us through his death on the cross. If we want to “do business” with God, we need to make certain that our faith is not in ourselves, not in our religion, but in Jesus Christ alone.
Rev. Dan Erickson
Senior Pastor, Chisholm Baptist Church