Around the Word in 365 Days, by Linda Sommer

Be of Good Cheer

John 16:1-33 The words Jesus spoke to His disciples seemed hard words to them. He was telling them He was going to go away and that they would forsake Him for a season. These were troubling words, yet Jesus ended His conversation with them by saying, "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (v. 33).

We live in troubled times, and it seems the condition of the world is worsening daily. There are wars, rumors of wars, famines and earthquakes just as Jesus said there would be in the end times. I feel we are in what Jesus called "the beginning of sorrows." The early labor pains have begun before His Second Coming is birthed, and according to the Scriptures, the labor will be most intense just before Jesus comes again. In the midst of all the tribulation and suffering promised us in the last days, we can be of good cheer. Jesus reveals the secret to peace in the middle of the storm and joy in the midst of tumultuous times.

Later, just before Jesus departed this earth, He gave us a great inheritance—His peace. He said this peace was not like the world offers. The world offers a temporary peace. Peace treaties are signed and broken. There are all kinds of peace movements, and many of the New Age teachings are about finding peace. Jesus' peace is different from the peace the world gives; Jesus' peace is permanent and eternal. The peace Jesus offers is not a feeling of well-being. It is not even peace of mind. The peace Jesus offers is a peace that passes our understanding. It is a peace that guards not only our minds, but also our hearts. The peace Jesus offers is Himself. He is our peace. He is the Prince of Peace, and it is His indwelling presence that brings peace to us in the midst of a world at war.

Jesus is able to keep our minds in perfect peace only as we willingly stay our minds upon Him.

How do we stay our minds upon Jesus? The answer is simple: We pray about everything and worry about nothing because we cast our every care upon Jesus. When we pray, the world will have no power to depress or discourage us, or even to make us fearful.

Peace in troubled times was promised to us by Jesus, and the fruit of peace is joy. The greatest joy robber in our lives is anything that disturbs our peace. Our peace is disturbed only when we are walking in the flesh instead of the spirit. We become frustrated, agitated, irritated. The moment we find ourselves in what I call "a wad," we must pray. I have yet to see a joyful frustrated, agitated, irritated person. When our minds are stayed upon Jesus, we can be of good cheer because we know the rest of the story. He has overcome the devil that seeks to rob our peace through oppression, depression, confusion and deception. Jesus has overcome the world with all of its distractions. Because He has overcome we can be of good cheer.

READ: 2 Samuel 12:1-31; John 16:1-33; Psalm 119:71-80; Proverbs 16:4-5

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