BE OF GOOD CHEER
Memorize: A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. Proverbs 15:13
Read: Matthew 14:23-27 (KJV)
14:23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.
14:24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
14:25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
14:26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
14:27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
Bible in one year: 1st Corinthians 15-16, Daniel 5:13-28
The message in today’s memory verse is food for thought for those children of God who think that being sorrowful or morose is a Christian virtue. A gloomy spirit is of the devil, who wants us to be in sorrow continually. In contrast to this, God wants all His children to be happy. The Holy Spirit in Isaiah 61:3 said that God gives joy to the sorrowful:
“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”
The Lord Jesus Christ, who came to demonstrate the nature and the character of God, read the above scripture in a synagogue on a certain day, and He declared:
“This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”
By this declaration, as a child of God, you should not live in sorrow any more.
All through the course of Jesus’ earthly ministry, one statement that was common with Him was, “Be of good cheer”. In other words, “Have a merry heart”. He continually said this because He knew that a merry heart results in a smiling face and is like medicine to the body and soul (Proverbs 15:13, Proverbs 17:22). For example, John 16:33, Jesus told the disciples to be of good cheer because He had overcome the world.
This means that, as children of God, we should not go about in life wearing a sorrowful face in self-pity – not even when we are confronted with the challenges of life. In the story of the man afflicted with the palsy, Jesus told him to be of good cheer because his sins were forgiven (Matthew 9:2). In other words, “Son, although your sins brought this sickness to your life, you are now forgiven, and you are made whole.” I prophesy to you today, irrespective of the agonising condition your past life has brought into your present, the Lord will redeem you today.
You are forgiven by the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ, and you will be happy again in Jesus’ Name. In today’s Bible reading, the disciples were in the midst of the sea and its waves tossed them here and there. In the midst of palpable fear and despair, Jesus came to them and rebuked their faithlessness, before rebuking the destructive wind. He then encouraged them to be of good cheer. In like manner, the Lord is speaking to you today that you will not drown in that situation. Be cheerful because Emmanuel is with you. Your joy shall come, and it shall come in full measure in Jesus’ Name.
Prayer Point: Father, flood my heart with unspeakable joy today and for ever more.
Open Heavens Daily Devotional Lessons was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God