"Be Of Good Cheer"

J. D. Conley
November 23, 2014

Life is full of ebb and flow. Sometimes it's just easier to be cheerful, than at other times. The reasons for this may be due to circumstances that foster a good mood, or perhaps its due to the eager anticipation of joyful coming events. For whatever reason, good cheer is something that strikes us occasionally without any will on our part, it just happens. This time of year, with the holidays coming up, is a good example of spontaneous cheer. Sharing time with family and friends, a break in work schedules, lends itself to cheerfulness and happiness. Very often cheerfulness comes easily and naturally.

But there are other times when being cheerful takes a concerted effort to achieve and maintain. Such was the case when Jesus said to His disciples, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). The Lord promises that tribulation, persecution, difficulties will come to the faithful child of God and the inspired writers concur, (cf. 2Tim. 3:12; 1Pet. 3:14, 4:12; 1 John 3:1,13, etc.).

But Jesus taught that good cheer is required of His followers, even when circumstances are hard. This means it is not impossible to be happy when our life is inundated with problems, sorrows and trials. Even as the cross loomed over Him, Jesus said, "be of good cheer." Therefore, we conclude He is commanding that we be happy regardless of what we are facing. So, being of good cheer is a choice one makes. Joy and happiness is more often an act of the will, rather than a by-product of circumstances. Paul alludes to this in his letter to the Philippians, "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Phi. 4:4-6). Paul wrote these hope filled words as a prisoner under house arrest. Not the best of circumstances. Yet, he wrote them with absolute conviction while in confinement. If he could be of good cheer in his situation, certainly we can be of good cheer in whatever situation we find ourselves in - if we choose to be!

Why Would We Ever Choose Not To Be Of Good Cheer?