I don't know about you, but for me, some days are harder than others to be of good cheer. In John 16:33 Jesus says, "These things I have spoken unto you, that IN ME you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of GOOD CHEER; I have overcome the world." At first glance, we might think being of "good cheer" is simply slapping a smile on our face as we go through our day, but if we dig a little deeper, we'll find that it is so much more than that!
Many other versions translate being of "good cheer" as being courageous and some use the command "take courage." We know that it is Jesus talking to us in this verse, so I picture it as Him standing there with courage on a platter and handing it to me. He's doing that same thing for all of us, but it's up to us whether or not we take it. After all, a gift only benefits the recipient when it is received!
Other translations interpret being of "good cheer" as being confident and brave, and when we look at the next part of the verse, we know why we can live in this crazy world with such confidence and bravery: Jesus has overcome the world! The Amplified version says, "But be of good cheer - take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted! For I have overcome the world. I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it FOR YOU." Like I've heard taught so many times from Pastor Mark Hankins, everything that God did in Christ, He did FOR US and set it to the credit of OUR account. Think about that for a minute. Jesus didn't come to this earth because He needed redemption for Himself. He came, lived a sinless life, died on the cross, gained victory over the devil, and rose again so that WE might have redemption and become one with the Father through Him. Everything that belongs to Him now belongs to us. We know that according to Romans 8:17, we are JOINT HEIRS with Jesus!
Usually in the world, victory is short lived. Look at the winners of the Super Bowl or the World Series. They work hard gaining win after win throughout the season in order to take the big title, but after one short year, they're not guaranteed to be the champions again. Our victory in Christ is not like that. One translation of John 16:33 puts it this way, "I have come off victorious over the world with a PERMANENT victory." As we line ourselves up with the Word, it's only a matter of time before our victory is manifested. When we're in Christ, we're not fighting FOR the victory in whatever situation we're facing but rather we're fighting FROM a place of victory.
When we really understand this truth, our outlook on life changes. No matter what circumstances we find ourselves in, we can CHOOSE a good attitude because according to Galations 6:9, we WILL reap if we refuse to give up. Instead of slapping a fake smile on our face, we can live in the power of genuine joy that produces a genuine smile. The joy of the Lord is our strength, and without joy, we have no strength.
Let's be of good cheer today. Let's take that courage that Jesus is handing us and use it. Let's be confident in what Jesus has already accomplished for us. Let's be brave and undaunted as we stand on the Word because we know the final outcome: victory!