Be of Good Cheer
"These things I have spoke 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
It is a common misconception that living a Christian life is an automatic pass from the adversities of this world. Life is never completely trouble-free. Sooner or later, adversity is bound to show up. The Lord makes it clear that withdrawing from adversity is not the answer. Instead of despairing, feeling overwhelmed or sinking in hopelessness, we can rest in His peace and be of good cheer knowing Jesus has overcome the world and deprived it of the power to harm us. Whatever it may be, He has already won the battle for us!
The peace of God is a beautiful gift. It is constant and fulfilling. God offers His gift of perfect peace by the blood of Jesus’ chastisement (Isaiah 53:5). It is for everyone who believes in Christ and will accept His Word. Our responsibility is to trust and obey God, confident that His grace will carry us (Philippians 1:6). God’s Word says there is peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Without peace, we cannot have joy. We can have the peace of God which surpasses all understanding when we allow ourselves to give up control and trust Him (Philippians 4:7). God’s peace provision of Christ is our power position to accept the ‘what is’ in our lives. When we stop fighting unwanted circumstances and accept perfect peace, they change into what we really want.
God’s Word warns us to expect tribulation while on earth. Tribulation works to oppress and afflict. It is a time of suffering, a surprise delay, grief or sorrow. It appears to mock our faith. We can pray, believe, speak words of faith, regroup and encourage our hope. It goes away for awhile and there it is again. I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t have something that sticks around to torment. Any particular area of torment is a training ground to choose life or death (Deuteronomy 30:19). Create a working definition of what you think tribulation is. It will be to you what you believe it to be and that is what it will be for you. “…as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” (Matthew 8:13). Develop your own belief system, not by other people’s standards. The drawing power to fit in is strong. Paul said, “One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.” (Romans 14:5). In other words, if you believe one way and someone else believes another way, it’s alright.
My personal definition of tribulation is the unfolding of daily life. There is always something that comes up to challenge our attitude. Everyone is one phone call away from something that unexpectedly changes our plans or refocuses our energy, and that’s alright. Viewing tribulation as everyday life trains us to be able to have a flexibility clause in our attitude. It is the ability to take unexpected surprises into our lives without getting angry, hurt, bitter, disappointed, resentful or fearful.
God’s purpose for us is to have calmness and soul-quietness in the midst of tribulation (John 14:27). God tells us He will be with us through water and through fire (tests and trials). All situations serve a purpose. God is on our side, guiding, directing and keeping us safe. We will face obstacles and difficulties (flood and fire) as God continues to strengthen us and prepare us for greater good (Romans 8:28). When we get a revelation of who we are in Christ, we know that with Christ on our side, there is nothing that can happen that is out of His control (I John 4:4).
It takes faith to praise God when things look impossible. God has a plan for our deliverance in every situation. When we surrender our control over the concerns of life to God, there is power. We have to choose to believe God is faithful and He will work out our concerns for us. Faith released through praise and thanksgiving opens the windows of heaven to overcome difficulty. Joyful praise and thanksgiving unleashes the power of the Holy Spirit to work on our behalf. He is our helper every moment and for every occasion.
Because of You, Lord Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit you are in me unfolding Your plan for my life with divine order, divine provision and amazing results. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Amen!