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Be of Good Cheer

This phrase is found more than once in the Bible. It is not the idea of "cheer up," when we are facing difficulty. Rather, it means "to have courage." The devil preys upon our fears, and if we are not careful, we will follow him into perdition. "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Rev. 21: 7,8). We must take courage to remain faithful.

Consider the few times our title is found in Scripture and what we can learn.

· The Paralytic (Matt. 9:1-8) - Imagine being the man, unable to move, as he was let down into the crowd through the broken roof, and suddenly you are face to face with Jesus. "Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you." Sometimes we cannot move. We are in marriages that are difficult or jobs that are trying or some other such thing. We all find ourselves in situations where we are just stuck. It can be infuriating. It can be disheartening. We can be paralyzed with fear. Be of good cheer. Take courage. It is only for a time. Be faithful.

· In the Storm (Matt. 14: 22-27) - There Jesus is, walking on the water. The disciples think they are seeing a ghost. "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid." Why did Peter start to sink? Fear. What can fear lead to? "Why did you doubt?" The devil loves to blow us off course, keeping us tossed to and fro. Take courage when things are beyond your control. The Lord is not far away, but you do have to look for Him in faith. If He is able to walk on water, how worried are you that you may drown. Be of good cheer. Take courage.

· The Dying Woman (Luke 8: 40-55) - Was that not the condition of the woman with the flow of blood? Yes, but Jairus' daughter was further along than she even was, for she had passed. We will all face death, either our own or our loved ones. Let us take courage. Our Lord has tasted death and overcome it. What is there to fear if we sleep in Jesus? Be of good cheer and go in peace.

· Blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10: 46-52) - Can you imagine being blind? Unable to see what dangers were ahead? Not knowing what the future may hold? Are we not all blind, to one degree or another in that regard? Does it not force us to say, "If the Lord will…"? Certainly, as we walk by faith and not by sight. Take courage.

· The Disciples (John 16:25-33) - Some-times we cannot see trouble coming. Sometimes we see it all too clearly. Take courage. The Lord will help.

Another time the word is used is in Acts 23 as the Lord told Paul, "Be of good cheer… you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome" (11). Take courage. Be bold (Heb. 13:6). Be confident (2 Cor. 5:6). Both are the same root-word we have been studying. Both are a part of taking courage. Both allow us to be of good cheer. We can go through trials and look back, rejoicing that the Lord was with us. Take courage and be an encouragement to others. It is much needed.

By John Hines

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