Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Be of Good Cheer

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 (NKJV)

One of the phrases that Jesus used several times was “be of good cheer”.  In the above verse, he said it while speaking to his disciples, to remind them that though they would encounter trouble, He had already overcome this world and its troubles.
Matthew 9:2 says “Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.” Imagine that man, having been paralyzed and carried to Jesus by others.  Imagine hearing, “be of good cheer”, and knowing your sins were forgiven.  The next thing Jesus says to him is “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” And he did just that.  He walked away, carrying his own bed.

Later that same day as he passes through a crowd of people a woman who had been sick for twelve years struggled and got to Jesus to touch the hem of his garment.  In her faith, she knew that if she could only touch His garment, she would be healed.  Jesus says to her in Matthew 9:22, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.”  She was made well that very hour. 

Days later as the disciples are all in a boat heading to Gennesaret.  Night came, and Jesus walked on the water to them in the middle of the sea, with the wind blowing and waves tossing all around Him.  When His disciples saw Him, they were afraid, thinking He was a ghost.  But Jesus said to them in Matthew 14:27, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”

The Greek word for cheer is tharseĊ (G2293).  It means to have courage and comfort.  In all these situations, one thing is present: fear.  Fear of sickness, fear of death, and simply fear of the unknown.  Fear can become a crippling, sickening disease if we let it.  It can lead to depression and anxiety.  It can affect not only our health, but even our social life. 

Jesus wants us to live this life with comfort and courage, without fear creating barriers and borders that we will not cross.  The freedom He has given is for this life as well as life after death.  He said to his disciples something we all need to focus on from time to time.  He said “I have overcome the world”.  What does that mean to you?  Nothing you will encounter is too great for you to bear, too hard for you to walk through, or can break you.  Because He is with us always (Matthew 28:20), because he says he will even pass through the fire with us (Isaiah 43:2).  We are OVERCOMERS, through our faith in Christ.  There is nothing here to fear, nothing that should discourage us or cause our faith to despond.  So friends, be of good courage!

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” – 1 John 4:4

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” – 1 John 5:4

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