“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).
The above-cited scriptural quote from Jesus is very instructive. As Christians, we are supposed to abide consistently in Christ, so that we would have His peace which exceeds human understanding. In the world, there are many troubles; but our triumph over them is certain, if we abide in Christ. Below are some principles we should live by in order to be of good CHEER:
Count your blessings: The human nature is much more inclined to lament over issues than to testify and recount God’s goodness. Many are quick to call up friends and family members and complain when a misfortune happens; but they rarely call up the same people to testify of God’s goodness. Many crave for pity and sympathy from others; hence, the propensity to lament. And many refuse to testify of His goodness because they feel God hasn’t done enough. They fail to realize that testimonies beget testimonies because they fuel faith in both the sharer and the hearer. Lamentation, on the other hand, begets more lamentations because it fuels unbelief. David said we should recount all His benefits, whether we deem them inconsequential or not (Psalm 103:1-5).
Hold onto your dreams: It is true that hope deferred discourages the heart (Proverbs 13:12). There is no better option to holding on to one’s aspirations, hopes and dreams even when they delay in coming through. The prophet Habakkuk wrote: “this vision is for a future time, it describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed” (Habakkuk 2:3, NLT). The patriarch Joseph was able to maintain a good attitude and was cheerful in his thirteen years long ordeal, because he held onto his dreams. If God said it, it will surely come to pass.
Engage faith in the Word of God: To engage something, in this sense, means to activate and deploy it for one’s benefit. To be cheerful in this world, we must give premium to the inspired and infallible word of God. We should stop allowing what our senses perceive determine what our hearts believe. Faith in God is of the heart. The basis for our faith is the Word of God. The Apostle Paul, under divine inspiration, wrote: “So we don’t look at the troubles that we can see now, rather we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever” (2 Corinthians 4:16, NLT). We can be cheerful amidst difficult times when we develop eyes of faith which envision and practically keep in view the Word of God.
Encounter fresh grace: There is grace for every new season of life. Yesterday’s grace may not be sufficient for today’s challenges. The Israelites were instructed to pick the manna only for one day, except the day before the Sabbath, when they were allowed to take enough for two days, since the Sabbath ordinance forbade them to work on that day. Those who disobeyed and picked for two days (except for the Sabbath) had their manna turned stale and spoilt the following day. God was emphasizing to them – and by extension, to us – that daily walk and communion with Him ought to be our lifestyle. There is grace for every day, every new assignment, every new year, every challenge, etc. To be cheerful, it is mandatory to lean entirely on God and His grace. By strength shall no one prevail (1 Samuel 2:9).
Respond to divine ability: The word responsible is from two words, viz. response and ability. Spiritual maturity occurs as we respond to the divine ability within us. In other words, we yield to the Holy Spirit and not the dictates of the flesh (Galatians 5:16-17). An irresponsible person is the one who responds wrongly to God, life opportunities, his talents and abilities, etc and then, in turn, blames others for his mediocre life. We can be cheerful in this evil world when we respond correctly to God, His Word, divine abilities, etc. The Holy Spirit enhances our ability to respond correctly to life.
CONCLUSION: As 2017 comes to an end, the word of Jesus, though spoken many centuries ago, is still relevant. Jesus is our Overcomer! Strong and unwavering faith in Him makes us overcome in this evil world (1 John 5:4-5). Be of good cheer!