BE STRONG AND OF GOOD COURAGE
August 12, 2006
BE STRONG AND OF GOOD COURAGE
If you could not cheer up, you would not have been so commanded by the Lord. The One who commands you to cheer up is your Maker. He knows that He has made you in such a way that you can choose between the two--cheer and discouragement. You are what you are by choice. You can choose to be cheerful or full of fear.
Each time the Lord appeared to people for generations after generations, He told them not to be afraid, but to be of good cheer. You are what you are by choice. When the Master of blue Galilee appeared to the disciples in the storm, the first thing He said was, "Be of good cheer." Then He said, "It is I, Be not afraid." If it had been impossible for them to cheer up. He would not have commanded them to do so. God will never command the impossible. He will never ask you to pray for something and then refuse to give it to you, Night had come. The ship was in the midst of the sea. It was tossed with the winds and waves. The winds were contrary.
Could that be your problem? Has night come your way? Are you tossed about by the storm? Are the winds contrary? Are things pulling you in the opposite direction? Do you make one step and fall back two? Jesus is mindful of you. He is watching through the storm. He knows them that are His. He is the One that said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee, and lo, I am with thee alway, even until the end of the world." He is a present help in the time of need.
"In the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came unto them, walking on the sea." (Matthew 14:25)
It may seem that you have toiled all night in the storm. The darkened hour is just before the dawn. He can walk the waves and the waters and come to your rescue. He that rides the storm walks toward you when you are in trouble and distress.
The disciples were troubled, They were full of fear. Jesus says to all, "Let not your heart be troubled." Yet millions of people have heart trouble. It is rapidly becoming one of the nation's number one killers. He says that in the last days men's hearts will be failing them because of fear of the things that will come upon the earth. That is how fear affects men's hearts. To us, Jesus says, "When you see these things begin to come to pass, look up and rejoice because your redemption draweth nigh."
If you panic, your heart will fail. He is now saying unto you, "Be of good cheer." Cheer will cure all heart trouble. "Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart." (Psalms 37:4) Since He commands you to do it; then you can do it.
Peter cheered up. He said, "I can walk on the water, also."
When Jesus told Peter to come to Him on the water, He did not command the impossible. Peter walked on the water. (Matthew 14:29)
Yes, Peter panicked, He traded cheer for fear because he looked at the waves instead of the Master. He looked at the water instead of the Man who made the water. He believed the outward, natural symptoms instead of the Word that created the sea.
Peter was beginning to sink. He did not sink. He looked back to Jesus. He reached for the hand that controlled all circumstances.
Immediately Jesus reached out His hand. He gently told Peter That he had traded his cheer for fear. The Peter immediately traded back. He cheered up and walked.
If you will cheer up, you will reach out your hand, and He will reach out His hand. Take your eyes off circumstances. Cast your fears aside. "Though the storms are on every side, they do not need to be on the inside. The you will hear His voice, "Peace, be still." You will see that behind the cloud, the sun still shines.
Dr. J. Gardner
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