Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Be of Good Cheer

Something bad happens.

You feel it is unfair and not right.  You want to complain.  You want to feel sorry for yourself.  You want to blame someone for the way you were mistreated.  You are upset and frustrated.  You feel, just like Jonah after a worm killed his shade tree outside of Nineveh, that you have a right to be angry.  You want to find someone to pour out all your pent-up emotions and frustrations upon, so you can have some sympathy.  You may even feel depressed and just want to quit. 

Do you know what is wrong about all these responses?  They don't work.  They only increase the negative results. 

The question is what do you do?  or maybe, what can you do?

Two strong suggestions:  1) Shut up.  Don't shoot your mouth off and make comments that later show your immaturity and for which you may be sorry.  2) Open your eyes to see beyond the immediate circumstances.

First, be quiet.  Proverbs 18:21 instructs us that death and life are in the tongue, so watch what you say.  Secondly note the wise response: Proverbs 29:11 declares, "A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back." and Proverbs 10:19 states that "In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise."

Secondly, see the big picture.  You have been created in the image of God, you have been given life and love and a unique personality that God designed to enjoy His glory forever.  Jesus has paid the ultimate price for you showing your infinite worth and His everlasting love for you.  He is faithful and will be with you in the greatest or least trial.  You will make it.  Jesus said it this way (in John 16:33) "In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."  Later, in first John, He tells us that everyone who is born of God overcomes the world.

How do you get there when you feel overwhelmed in a negative situation?  Ask God for help.  He tells us in Ephesians 4:26  “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath" and in Romans 8:13 "but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live." Since He has called us to make these choices He also is here to do it inside us. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it (1 Thessalonians 5:24).  Ask Him to do it as you surrender your fleshly "rights."

Last but not least, be filled with the Spirit.  The Word of God is spirit and life, so in other words, it feeds and gives life to the spirit.  As you read the Word and choose to obey it, the Spirit of God causes that seed to grow inside us.  Since it is God's will that we rejoice always and give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), we release the Spirit's power to dominate our flesh when we begin to give thanks, choose to rejoice, and deliberately trust God to work the situation for good.  His strength will enable us to make it through the current situation.

Are you in trouble?  Jesus answers it best, "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

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