Be of Good Cheer! Jesus Christ has Overcome the World!
These are the words spoken by Jesus when He was preparing the disciples for His departure.
"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).
The word peace used here is the Greek word eirene, it is pronounced i-ray-nay and it means prosperity, quietness and rest. The word tribulation used in this verse is the Greek word thlipsis, it is pronounced thlip-sis and it means afflicted, anguished, burdened, persecuted, and troubled. Jesus was saying that in the world tribulation would seek to threaten the peace He gives, but to be of good cheer, be encouraged and take courage with you. Why? because He has overcome the world, He has subdued, conquered, prevailed and won the victory over all of its chaos. Peace and tribulation are not harmonious, but Jesus and peace are. Preparation when we must face distasteful things is a wonderful thing. Being prepared and having closely looked at the situation at hand, makes endurance possible. Jesus words transcend time and places it was a good word then, and it is most certainly a good word for the present.
Here Jesus is prophesying unto His disciples for the purpose of encouraging and preparing them for life without Him physically. These words were spoken before Calvary, that He has overcome the world. Jesus bids them peace, and in preparation for what was to come assures them that good cheer will be needed. It is time to take courage with you to the end, yet He doesn't hesitate to let them know that in this world they were going to have tribulation. The truth, because each disciple that walked closely with Him came in contact with tribulation and eventually death. Troubles, problems, adversities, oppositions, oppressions, situations, circumstances, afflictions, and crisis are all the symptoms of tribulation. He counseled them to be of good cheer, because He has overcome the world. "Notice" He didn't say He was going to overcome the world, He said, "I have overcome the world". The time of this decree by Jesus was before the cross. Entering the world sin free is being a overcomer upon arrival. At conception and birth Jesus had overcome this world, seeing everyone born would be a sinner and subjected to being overcome by sin, until turning to Him and finding peace. His peace is one the world system does not know but in theory and not reality.
We must glean the strength needed from these words as well, and we would do well to remember the words of Jesus when we are going through adversity of any kind. He didn't just say be of good cheer because I have overcome the world. He also told them in the world you are going to experience tribulation; troubles will come that will quake your very souls, but look to me for the overcoming power that you will need. The disciples really did have a taxing time ahead of them, and we can only understand those things by their words, and the accounts they left us in the Bible.
These words Jesus spoke for the purpose of the disciples receiving, and having peace in Him. In the world there has been, and is and He said there would be tribulation, that it is inevitable. But in Him there is peace that leads to good cheer, and courage to face every tomorrow. Tribulation brings with it all kinds of disasters, catastrophes, emergencies, calamities, predicaments, situations, circumstances, sicknesses, poverty, but not without resolves through Christ Jesus. Mankind was not fashioned for tribulation, God had given the first man Adam a dominion mandate, and to Jesus Christ there was nothing that He did not give him dominion over. Confidence in God was lost as a result of transgressing His words, and falling into sin. Jesus Christ was mindful of our lost estate, and came that we might have life, and live it more abundantly.
The cross is a positive sign, (+) there is no more negativity associated with the cross of Calvary for the believer in Christ. We know it mathematically as a plus sign which only adds to and does not subtract. What happened at the cross was done by depraved creatures whom Jesus felt compassion for, and asked the Heavenly Father to forgive them because they knew not what they were doing. If that's not a positive attitude and attribute, then what is? Jesus displayed His overcoming power right there and in Him we must find the peace in forgiveness because He made forgiveness a treasure worth possessing. Jesus had told others that no man takes His life, but that He lays down His life. Through the cross and His shed blood pours down miraculous positive power on us to live the abundant life now, and it prepares us for life in eternity. The disciples were on the before side of the cross when Jesus spoke these words, we on the other hand are on the other side after it happened. Should His words mean any thing other for us because we were not there physically? No, we have to pick up our crosses and follow Jesus too, believing in Him is the peace we need to endure troubles and to be of good cheer, because He has overcome the world for us too.
Jesus in the high priestly prayer in John 17:20, placed an emphasis, and made a point in this prayer to the Father that He was not praying for the disciples alone; but for all who would believe on Him through their words. He was interceding for all of us who believe and will believe. We have read the disciples words, and we have gained the faith needed to believe. He was praying for all who shall believe in the future. As we glean, we must also learn from what we are acquiring. Application is important, how do I go through a trying time? By trusting in the Lord Jesus with all of my heart and leaning not to my own understanding, in all of my ways acknowledging Him, and He shall direct my paths (Proverbs 3:5).
I can remember as a new believer, whenever the cross was sung or preached, tears would just flow like a river, but there was a quiet sadness about the cross. Until I understood why Jesus would sacrifice His life and die such a dreadful death, and give His life for the lives of so many. It would have to be revealed, and made know to truly see the positive power in and through the cross. It is a place each one of us have to go, and we must pick up our own crosses as a result, and follow Him. Yes, we all have a cross to bear in life and tribulation paves the way, to and through the cross, it is a personal place, and you must go there alone. The cross would have to pave the way to salvation, but the resurrection would give us hope, faith, and promises beyond comparison. Never be willing to forget the cross, but move beyond unto resurrection life, and there is where you find and begin the abundant life.
When I first started on hubpages, I received a question in the comments..... How do we take up our own crosses? Does that mean we should face our trials and try not to take shortcuts? The commenter also answered his own question. His name shall remain anonymous.
I commented, Good morning: We should not only face our trials head on but know and understand that they are crosses we must bear in life; and that when we do that we are taking up our cross and following Him. Jesus' opponents made Him carry His own cross part of the way to Calvary to crucify Him upon it. There was no shortcut for Him, we oftentimes get the option to, and we can choose shortcuts, or the path of less resistance which deters discomfort, and then other times we don't. However, the denial of self is the prerequisite to bearing our own crosses. Wanting the will of God over our own. In prayer Jesus asked the Father, if it be possible, let this cup (cross) pass from me, but nevertheless, let Your will be done. Taking up own crosses always means let thy will be done, not my will. The word let is indicative of something which prohibits something from manifesting, rather than the Father's will to save the world from sin. (John 3:16) says it the best.
All praises and thanks to God the Heavenly Father, for turning such a heart wrenching event such as (the cross) into a positive for all the masses. In the world He said, you will have tribulation, but keep a positive attitude always so that you can experience good cheer and take courage with you. Jesus is the King of all positive thinking. The most powerful positive thinking in this world is poured out from the cross. The pain and sorrow of the cross, and yet, we can think about it and find hope all the time. We can experience the love of a selfless Savior, and all of our strides in this life are ultimately good, and positive because He made a positive sign out of what was meant to be a negative one. Have you ever seen happier people who know, that they know, and believe what took place at Calvary was for each one of them individually, as well as collectively. Be of good cheer, means because of Jesus Christ, and only because of Him, I can face today with hope, and tomorrow if it be God's will. The Church at large is experiencing what it is like to have good cheer, because Jesus has overcome the world we must navigate through.
The strange thing is when trouble comes our way, what do we do?. Oftentimes, we can discern and sense that it is going to be quite challenging, and will demand our immediate attention. We ascertain that we need an answer and resolve. Well Jesus is our teacher, the tribulation He was about to face, He said that it sorrowed Him, and He even asked the Father, if it were possible to let the cup pass from Him, but He said, nevertheless not my will but Yours be done. Tribulation does realistically bring sorrow, but sorrow is sent packing as we choose to endure all troubles with the good cheer Jesus is speaking about. We must find the most positive way, and attitude to deal with it, as we learn and practice how to count it all joy. Bitterness is not an option.
One thing we can count on as we are going through adversities is change. There will be a change or changes, when we consider the cross, and what Jesus accomplished for us there, we can rest in hope for the better, and not the worse. It is our choice, will I choose to think on the problem or solution, the good or the worse? If nothing can separate me from the love of God, then I am supposed to be persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor powers, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come can separate me from God's love and protection. The Apostle Paul laid out the carpet of tribulation, but He also challenges our faith towards persuasion. He said, I am persuaded that none of these things can separate me from God's love found in Christ Jesus. You know what? I believe the Apostle and am encouraged to believe that nothing can separate me from God's love and to take it personally too. Be of good cheer!
In the Book of Revelation the overcomer there is described as one who.....Overcame by the word of their testimony, the blood of the Lamb, and they loved not their lives unto death. All of these things are contingent upon believing in Jesus Christ. Jesus said, to be of good cheer. Why? Because He has overcome the world. We need our own testimony of what the cross means to us personally, and how the blood of the Lamb has paved our path, and is the only way to go. We should never forget all of those who died in order for us to even have a Bible to read and study, and from there we gain courage in how not to love our own lives unto death, because none of them did, commencing with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The disciples and apostles are true examples and followers of Jesus Christ, who gave us their testimony, who overcame through the blood of the lamb and they loved not their lives even unto to death.
Unlike reading a good novel awaiting the happy ending, The words of the disciples and apostles are words tried through struggle and lead us to eternal values. We must believe Jesus and all the others, or we will miss out how to endure. We can't see all that goes on in the spirit realm, but one thing for sure; the Godhead reveals, teaches, intercepts, interferes, obscures, confounds and defeats all evil assigned against us. It encourages us to believe that no weapon formed against us shall prosper or succeed. This is the only reason nothing can separate us from God's love because He is our protector and banner. He is Jehovah Nissi, the Lord our Banner.
Crisis is a critical alarm and is only a symptom of tribulation. Crises are happening every second of the day, and night in this world, in every nation, land, country and region. The culmination of these things will eventually usher in the great tribulation. No one is truly exempt from crises. However, crises can change the way we think. Wars and rumors of war are the beginning of sorrows. Trigger words such as wars, and rumors of wars. Who does that make you think of? The one who foretold it, Jesus Christ. We can't hear these phrases, and not think of who said it. Again, He encourages the disciples not to be troubled, and that these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
(Matthew 24:6) And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
The accounts in Matthew 24, Jesus describes as great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world, nor ever shall be. Yet the adjective "great" lets us know that the intensity of tribulation will increase. The disciples Jesus told to be of good cheer obeyed him unto their own death. Is the resolve any different for the great tribulation? No, there will have to be a greater capacity to be of good cheer.
We know these things because of the Scriptures. When a crisis takes place at one level it forces us to learn things we did not know before. The crises in life are telling a story, and are warning, and showing us that a world that rejects its Creator and God is not operating correctly, and there will be consequences. God is the only constant in life. Jesus the same yesterday, and today and forever speaks of the immutability of God. God will never change His will, word, purpose, values, character or attributes. We are the ones who must change. We have to change our minds, hearts, methods, strategies and operations to agree with His. A world that dismisses changing will, and are summoning calamities to be set in motion, along with crises and therefore greater tribulation will be inevitable. The hope of the believer is Jesus Christ. He was speaking to the disciples in the passage, but we draw strength and courage from these words as well. We are using His peace right now at this very moment. There are troubles on every shore, how do you think or believe you can cope or deal with all the troubles at hand? I hope and pray that you realize, and understand the undergirding power of His peace in, and through you to even walk to your car, that it is of God.
I was listening to a teaching by Pastor Alphonso Bernard of the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, New York. The message was on "Crisis". In this study he strategizes concerning going from level to level. What came to me, was we go from faith to faith and glory to glory. These are levels we travel to as we go from faith to our most holy faith. The Apostle Jude makes this distinction in verse 20, as he encourages us to build ourselves up on our most holy faith by praying in the Holy Ghost.
These are some truths gleaned from this message. Jesus is the true vine and the Father is the vinedresser. Crises takes us from level to level. We live life on levels and we arrive in stages. Each stage takes us to a new level of responsibility, authority, as well as knowledge. This movement can come by way of crisis and tribulation. As human beings we often choose or take the path of less resistance.
Crisis also takes us from the temporal to the permanent. There are temporal things that drop off in the process, and certain things become a permanent part of our thinking. Especially in the area of values. Tribulation produces stronger values and values become more solid and core as a result of the crisis' we face. We can see and experience the overcoming power that Jesus spoke of and good cheer emerges as we occupy until He returns.
Out of crisis comes the opportunity to learn things that we never knew before, so that we can go to the next level of faith in the victory Jesus wrought for us. We don't solve our problems at the same level in which they were created. When tribulation or crisis takes place at one level it forces us to learn some things that we didn't know before, just so that we resolve the crisis and the resolve automatically moves us to the next level. We are liken to an equation, which is a matter of having things balanced. Pastor Bernard asked a question, "Define crisis from an eternal life perspective" When we think of crisis we must think of it as a turning point in our lives. We must speak into crisis that God is greater than it. Jesus has already overcome the crisis and the answer is within our reach. Crisis can be very alarming, not to know when it will strike and when it will manifest is self-quaking.
From an eternal standpoint the way is up for us. If we be risen with Christ we are admonished to seek those things which are above, and not of the world. When crisis comes that means there is a problem. How do we deal with it? Be of good cheer acknowledging that Jesus has overcome the world, and everything it throws at you. The perspective we take concerning troubles is of the greatest importance. Tribulation and crisis is a turning point. It can be a turning point for the better or worse. The better means your perspective is on the Godhead alone, for the worse means your perspective is not on eternal life.
The eternal life perspective says that everything that comes my way, the good, bad, ugly and other is to make me a better me and not to make me worse. Crisis doesn't come to the believer to cause decline. But it will take focus. When we pray for courage, God doesn't give us courage, He gives us the opportunity to be courageous. What we do with the opportunity is up to us. Crises must be seen as opportunities of what can I learn and how can I apply what I have learned. Crises expose weaknesses and limitations, and takes us to the next level of understanding and faith. it can and will threaten your peace, if you don't keep your eyes fixed on Christ.
The level we may have been at before many crises showed up, in which we may have blown things out of proportion, and we went in our prayer closets telling God how great the problem was. We learn to look up, and to look for Jesus and His resolve through the Word, and Spirit of God. We change our tunes in the process, and the levels change drastically when we realize that Jesus Christ is greater than tribulation and crisis, and that you must make the decision to stand on that truth. You do arrive at a new level. This new level affirms, I will not tell the Almighty God how great the problem is, I will ask for the grace that will strengthen me to forbear, and speak to the problem, and tell it how great my God is. When sickness, disease, infirmity and pain shows up selling wolf tickets, we must tell, and speak to it "Jesus is greater than you". This is the new level of responsibility, and authority we gain according to the knowledge of who Jesus Christ is, our savior, redeemer and healer.
We are on the threshold for the coming of Jesus Christ. Prophecies are manifesting, the seal on the Book of Revelation is loosed for whosoever hath an ear, Signs of the times are on every hand and materializing in every land. Tribulation is already here in the world, and will usher in the greater tribulation. Whether we will escape it or not is really not the issue; it is what about those who will not escape it. Can you see the mercy and love Jesus had for His disciples to prepare and warn them for such a time. There are family member, friends. associates and just people we pass every day in our travels who will not be ready to face the great tribulation, if they intend to do it without Jesus Christ. We don't know the day, nor the hour, no man does. Yet, there is a difference in the atmosphere that is uncanny about this world, as it lines up for wars and all that prophecy admonishes in the last days. There is a pride and arrogance instead of humility and a need to know what God's Word says. Even with the knowledge of what is happening in the world, there is still a quiet small voice that ushers in peace and encourages us to be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. Beware, but be encouraged! Jesus told the disciples to watch and pray.
Threshold - A Turning Point (Poem)
I have reached a point in my life where I have never been before,
I am experiencing restlessness deep in my spirit, I just cannot ignore,
An answer, I sought from God, Lord, please tell me where I am,
You are the turning point, my child, His reply was to me, just stand!
It is a place where new directives I can freely give to you,
A place where you can receive new instructions, to take you right on through,
Turning point is a shifting place, and a slowing down of pace,
It is where a significant change begins, and where the former has to end,
I am at a turning point in my life! New directives are manifesting
It's a place of entering in, and a point of new beginnings
It is called a threshold! The latter will outweigh the old,
I’m at the point of no return, new horizons I shall behold,
Pressing forward diligently, regardless of all opposition,
Looking unto Jesus, with all earnest expectation
Old things are passed away you see, all things are becoming new for me,
I’m at the turning point I’m told! You are at the doorstep called the threshold.
Threshold "What a Crucial Point"
***Threshold is a critical point, doors close without warnings, while others cordially are open. Repositioning and shifting occurs, yet, it seems you are standing still. It is not the threshold, we hear about or know of concerning the newlyweds, where happiness springs forth into mirth. It is a place of standstill and see the salvation of the Lord, and having done all to stand, stand therefore. Have you ever been there, or is that where you are?
We are on the threshold of the coming of Christ. Although we don't know the day or hour, we still must be ready.
Years of time have come and gone, since I first heard it told, how Jesus would come again some day, someday. Since that day it seems so real, I can't help but feel, how much closer His coming is today.
Oh sign of the time on every hand, there is a brand new feeling in the air, Keep your eyes on the eastern star (Israel), lift up you head redemption draws nigh. There are wars and strife on every hand, it seems like violence constantly fill the land, still some people doubt if He will come again.
But the Word of God still rings true, Just like He said He will redeem His chosen few, Just don't give up hope, soon Christ Jesus will descend, oh, there are signs of the times on every hand, there is a brand new feeling in the air. Look up, your redemption draws nigh.