Do not Fear but Cheer in God

Do not Fear but Cheer in God

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. – John 16:33

How do we follow Jesus’ exhortation to be of good cheer amid tribulation? To be of good cheer is to rejoice in all circumstances, standing in faith Jesus has overcome the world. He is alive, with us, and in control of what seems to be uncontrollable. One tactic of satan, is to lead us to the opposite: react in fear.

The Spirit of God is training us to not only be of good cheer, but to cheer others on their journey. We do so as we share the good news of the gospel with a hurting world. By His grace, we encourage, edify, and exhort others, sharing His love, life, and light. Cheer, not fear.

As cheer leaders, we stir up the things of the spirit, not of the flesh. We rejoice in the fruit of transformation, even if small. We do not complain, but learn to be content in the Lord. Standing on God’s Word, regardless of adverse circumstances, we focus on the Lord, trusting His plan. When we ourselves battle fear, we run to Jesus, release all at His feet, and rest in Him, from glory to glory!

What Are We Thinking?

What Are We Thinking?

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. – Phil. 4:8

Our hearts are like gardens, and our thoughts are like seeds. Seeds of love, hope, and faith produce beautiful flowers in our lives. Seeds of hate, despair, and fear yield weeds and thorns. The evil seeds can give our adversary a foothold and then become strongholds to hinder the growth of the seeds of life.  

Over thinking about wrong things allows weeds to grow. Thinking about good things produces flowers of peace, hope, and faith. As we exercise our thoughts relating to who God is and who we are in Him, we conquer strongholds. With God’s help, we can meditate on these things: what is worthy of respect, lovely; admirable and of excellent report.

This mind exercise is a process. We practice reminding ourselves of anything worthy of praise! We meditate, center our thoughts, and focus on these truths. Our thoughts are innumerable, so we cannot catch them all, but by God’s amazing grace, our ability to take them captive improves. God gives increase to His Word and we walk in the fruits of the good seeds, from glory to glory!

Do We Know God Hears Us?

Do We Know God Hears Us?

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. – 1 John 5:14-15 NKJV

A father desired a better job, but felt undeserving because of his struggles with impatience and anger. Only his wife and children noticed it when he yelled at them for the smallest thing and slammed his fist on the table. He believed he deserved punishment rather than blessings from God. He didn’t dare approach God in prayer about it. Surely God wouldn’t even hear him, let alone answer him.

This fear, that God is too distant or displeased to listen, afflicts many. Yet, the truth is God hears us! The Almighty, for whom nothing is impossible, hears us! The Greek meaning of ‘hear’ emphasized stopping and paying attention. When we pray, God stops and pays attention to us. He doesn’t just pay attention: He answers our petitions according to His will.

Our confidence in God grows as we know He hears us. It’s when we feel the least deserving that we should reach out to Him the most. He not only hears fully what we ask; He also hears what we have no words to express. Whatever we are going through today, we can pour out our hearts to the Lord, trusting His unconditional love and His ever-present help, from glory to glory!

Therefore Do Not Lose Heart

Therefore Do Not Lose Heart

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. – 2 Cor. 4:16 NKJV

When we feel stuck in some situations, we should remember that, as a child of God, we are never stuck in the spirit. Even though our outward man perishes, our inward man never does. It also shows us that God never stops working by His Spirit. We can expect Him to step in and move even when we don’t see when, or how.

However, our journey to that breakthrough can be challenging. Because nothing seems to move forward, we can get discouraged and feel like we are spinning, like the wheels of a car trapped in a ditch on a muddy road. We spin and spin, but go nowhere. Sometimes it even seems that the relationship we prayed to improve, the poor treatment on our job, or the character transformation gets worst.

Let’s pray to be strengthened by God’s Spirit in our inner man, stand by faith, and worship Him. When we sense an hindrance, let’s  press through by praying in the spirit. We cannot understand God’s ways to intervene, only believe and trust them. We do not lose heart but walk strong in the spirit, expecting His breakthrough, from glory to glory

What is that to you?

What is that to you?

Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me. Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?” – John 21:21-23.

When Peter asked Jesus about John, Jesus answered Peter with a question and a direction, what is that to you? And you follow me. These apply to us as well. We should not preoccupy ourselves with what others are doing, but consider our own ways. As we follow the Lord, we stayed our eyes upon Him, not others.  

Comparing ourselves with others can open the door for envy, discouragement, or pride. What we assume can lead us to make the wrong conclusion, build resentment and take our eyes off the Lord. The path of others might even look easier, or harder, than our own. When tempted to do so, we remember that we have not walked in other people’s shoes and cannot fully understand their journey.

Knowing what others go through now or in their future doesn’t help our motivation to pursue what God has for us. The more our focus is on the Lord, the less it is on ourselves or other people. It is Him we follow, Him we believe, Him we honor, praise, and glorify, from glory to glory!

Do You Worry?

Do You Worry?

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? – Mat. 6:25-27

Worry is a common experience, often depicted as a hamster on a wheel: constantly moving but getting nowhere, like being on an endless merry-go-round. The real challenge is not to let worry turn into fear. While worry consumes us with potential outcomes, stealing our peace, fear expects the worst, paralyzing us. 

To transform worry into worship rather than fear, we should reflect on the three questions Jesus asked His disciples, which resonate with us too: “Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life span?”

Our answers awaken praise and worship from a grateful heart! We can trust our Heavenly Father to take care of us. He treasures our lives, provides and protects us, always. Jesus’ words redirect our focus to what truly matters – the Kingdom of God. Love and worship for Him deepen as we ponder on His nature and deeds,  from glory to glory!  

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