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There is an answer! If everything in your life seems to be falling apart, you can do something today that will begin to turn it around. Whether it is sickness, fear, persecution or any distressing situation that comes against you or the ones you love, you don't have to put up with it any longer. What is it that can turn a seemingly hopeless situation into a victory celebration? Cheer!

That was Jesus' answer to the coming tribulation that His disciples would face while they were in the world. He said, "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 KJV).

Just as Jesus' Word calmed the wind and the waves on the Sea of Galilee almost two thousand years ago, His Word can calm the storm you are facing today. No matter what you are going through, if it is in the world, Jesus has already overcome it.

So be of good cheer, turn your attention to His Word and Jesus will speak peace into your life. The word cheer is defined in Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words in this way: "to put in good spirits, well, merry, confidence, to be of good courage." These are all part of the essential building blocks for your victory.

Before Joshua could lead his people into the promised land God told him, "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest" (Josh. 1:9 KJV).

Joshua had to keep the Word in his mouth and in his heart day and night. His life and the life of those around him depended upon it. Although he had been going around in circles for the past forty years with disobedient people around him day and night, he didn't have time to be dismayed. He had a responsibility to be strong and very courageous if they were going to be victorious and walk in their promise land.

Joshua was successful in battle because he realized that every victory begins in the heart. Victories are never won rehearsing past failures or running from battle, they are won by continually meditating on God's Word and doing the Word. That is the same way it happens for each of us today. You see, God's ways are so much higher than our ways.

We want to see before we believe, but God's way is for us to believe, then see. There is a scripture about courage that was hard for me to understand until recently. Psalms 31:24 says, "Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord."

When I read that verse I thought it sounded backwards. It should say, "He will strengthen your heart so that you can be of good courage." Sometimes your heart feels so weak from battle, so you want to say, "Okay God, you can strengthen my heart now. I can't go another inch." But that is when God says, "be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

SICK? Be of Good Cheer
There was a man that was lying on a bed sick of the palsy, that was carried by his friends to Jesus one day. The Bible says when Jesus saw their faith He said to the sick of the palsy, "Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee" (Matt. 9:2).

Jesus has overcome every sickness that this world has ever seen or ever will see. I like what Isaiah 53:4 says, "Surely He has home our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains, of punishment, yet we ignorantly considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God, as if with leprosy" (AMP).

Surely! The price for all sickness is already paid by the precious blood of Jesus on the cross. He carried it so that you would not have to carry it. He is still calling out to all who will listen today saying, " of good cheer, Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house."

AFRAID? Be of Good Cheer!
If the storms of life come against your boat, fear will try to jump in and sink your ship. Fear is just faith working in reverse. Actually, fear is faith in what the devil says about you. But cheer is a powerful weapon that you can use to stop fear from robbing you of God's promises in your life. That's what water-walking Peter did. When the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water, the Bible says "... they cried out for fear." Jesus' response to them was, "Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid" (Matt. 14:26, 27).

Now everyone except Peter stayed in the boat, but Peter was of good cheer (courage) and called out to Jesus and said, "Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water (verse 28)." Now most people just remember the fact that Peter sank after he got out on the water. But the guy walked on water!

Although he began to sink for a brief moment, Jesus was right there with him the whole time "And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him" (v. 31). You can see that the devil doesn't have any new tricks. He worked on Peter to get his eyes on what he could see to put fear in his heart. It didn't even make any sense. What did the wind have to do with walking on the water?

Distractions, reasoning, fear and doubt are tools the devil uses to rob us from achieving God's promises. But you can determine in your heart today to follow the instructions God gave Joshua to "Be strong and of a good courage; he not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."

PERSECUTED? Be of Good Cheer!
No one likes to be persecuted. We all want to be accepted and loved by everyone. The Apostle Paul was the same way. But when you stand up for the truth the way he did, it made a lot of people mad. Once when He was before the Sanhedrin, there was such a dissension that the chief captain feared that Paul would be pulled in pieces by the people. So he had his soldiers take Paul by force to the castle prison (Acts 23:9-10).

Now that is pretty serious stuff Paul could have been offended at God. Some people have written God off for much less. I mean, all Paul was doing was preaching the message God had given him to preach. But Paul was not moved by persecution. He stood for Jesus and as a result Jesus stood by him. The Bible says that following night when Paul was guarded in the castle prison, "the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome" (Acts 23:11).

No matter what the devil threw at Paul, he couldn't shake his courage. He wrote most of the New Testament from prison and was a constant encouragement to the Church of his day. In 2 Corinthians chapter 4, Paul said, "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; persecuted, but not forsaken: cast down, but not destroyed" (vv. 8,9). Paul was determined to "look not at the things which are not seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal" (v. 18).

Later he wrote a testimony in 2 Timothy 3:10,11 for all to read, "But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me."

When you stand for God and put His Word first, you can be assured that He will stand with you. You will even have the satisfaction of saying what Paul said, "what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me."

DISTRESSED? Be of Good cheer!
We have so many examples of wonderful men and women of God that overcame distressing situations because they refused to walk in fear and were of good cheer (courage). Daniel in the lions den, Esther, Jeremiah and the three Hebrew children, just to name a few, could never have walked in victory without it.

The storm that attacked the ship carrying the Apostle Paul to C'sar had distressed those on board until all hope of being saved was taken away. But Paul never gave up hope. He was an expert at turning a distressing situation into a victory celebration.

Acts 27:22-25 gives us the account of Paul's words: "And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Ceasar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me."

We know from the rest of the story that Paul and all that sailed with him that day were saved. This is a great example to anyone in distress that belief in God's Word can quiet the storms of life and bring peace to a troubled heart. So if sickness, fear, persecution or distressing situations try to get you down, don't give up, cheer up!

Jesse Duplantis Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Cathy Duplantis
Web site: Jesse Duplantis Ministries
Reverend Cathy Duplantis is an anointed teacher of the Gospel dedicated to living by faith and inspiring others to do the same. Cathy is the wife of Evangelist Jesse Duplantis. She has worked continually with her husband in ministry since it began in 1978, serving as Administrator, Editor in Chief of Voice of the Covenant magazine, and television co-host.

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