Cheer Up!

Cheer Up!

“I have told you these things so that in Me you may have perfect peace and confidence. In this world you will have trouble – tribulation, trials, distress and frustration; but be of good cheer – be encouraged, be confident, be undaunted – for I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, Amplified Bible)

Two facts of life for all believers – We will have troubles, and Christ has prevailed.

The Greek word for “overcome” in “I have overcome the world,” is “nike,” to subdue, defeat, conquer, prevail. Victory is mine, says the Lord. I have subdued the powers that harm, I have conquered the world for you. Be at peace in the midst of distress. I have defeated the enemy, not just for the time on earth, but for all time. You may be harassed by the world, says the Lord, but that same world has been subdued. Be encouraged, for I have won, and your soul will not be harmed.

While on the earth, Jesus had good practice overcoming the world. He had personal experience in the overcoming business. He overcame:

  1. His Flesh“Although He was a Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered.” (Hebrews 5:8).
  2. Nature – Multiplying loaves (Matthew 14:20); Walking on water (Matthew 14:25); Withering the fig tree (Matthew 21:19); Calming the storm (Mark 4:34); Turning water into wine (John 2:7); Transfiguring His own body (Matthew 17:2); Finding the money in the fish’s mouth (Matthew 17:27).
  3. Sickness“And he went about all Galilee, healing every disease and every infirmity among the people. They brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them.” (Matt. 4:23-24).
  4. Heavenly Powers“Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.” (1 Peter 3:22).
  5. Satan“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil… Then Jesus said to him, ‘Begone Satan!… Then the devil left him.” (Matthew 4:1-11).
  6. Sin and Death“Death is swallowed up in victory. ‘O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:54-58).

Through Jesus, believers are overcomers as well: “For this is the love of God, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world: our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:3-5).

An Early Church Testimonial: This seems a cheerful world, Donatus, when I view it from this fair garden under the shadow of these vines. But if I climbed some great mountain and looked out over the wide lands, you know very well what I would see. Brigands on the high roads, pirates on the seas, in the amphitheaters men murdered to please applauding crowds, under all roofs misery and selfishness. It is really a bad world, Donatus, an incredibly bad world. Yet in the midst of it, I have found a quiet and holy people. They have discovered a joy which is a thousand times better than any pleasure of this sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They have overcome the world. These people, Donatus, are the Christians, and I am one of them. (Cyprian of Carthage, North Africa, martyr under Decius, 258 AD).

Two Prayers for Overcomers: O King of glory and Lord of valors, who hast said, ‘Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world’: be thou victorious in us thy servants, for without thee we can do nothing. Grant thy compassion to go before us, thy compassion to come behind us: before us in our undertakings, behind us in our ending. And what more shall we say but that thy will be done, for thy will is our salvation, our glory, and our joy. Amen. (Alcuin, the head teacher for Charlemagne’s palace school, 782-796 AD).

O Lord Jesus Christ, who didst say that in thee we may have peace, and hast bidden us to be of good cheer, since thou hast overcome the world: give us ears to hear and faith to receive thy Word; that in all the tensions and confusion of this present time, with mind serene and steadfast purpose, we may continue to abide in thee, who livest and wast dead and art alive for evermore. Amen. (Frederick Macnutt, 1873-1949).