Monday, August 10, 2009

Be of Good Cheer

"But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying,
Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid." Mat 14:27

You may be familiar with this verse in Scripture. The disciples have gone out on the sea and are tossed with the waves "for the wind was contrary." Jesus comes out to them walking on the water and they become, understandably to us, afraid. They suppose Him to be a spirit and they cry out in fear.

Then Jesus speaks to them and says, "Be of good cheer, it is I; be not afraid." He doesn't just say, "Be not afraid", but He tells them to be of "good cheer", to have courage and hope.

It is one thing to not be afraid in a situation, it is another to be of good cheer. But when Jesus steps in our boat, the first thing He says to us is for us to be of good cheer. He isn't expecting us to have dour faces, to have wringing hands with worry, to be fretting about tomorrow. He is expecting us to look and act as if the Lord of Lords and King of Kings is on our boat.

Two men in a boatImage by Thermodynamix via Flickr

These same disciples had already seen the Lord Jesus calm the sea with His words. They had awoken the Lord from sleep crying out, "Save us: we perish."

The Lord's answer was, "Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?" Then He got up and "rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm." The disciples then "marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him!" (Matthew 8: 23-27)

If we have believed in the Lord Jesus, He has come into us and now resides in "our boat".

"I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one" (John 17:23)

He no more desires us to live a fearful life than He did the disciples on that sea and we are more empowered NOT to do so than are they. Those men in that boat had the living Lord Jesus walking among them, but we have the risen and glorified Lord Jesus living IN us.

"To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:" (Colossians 1:27)

He has come to live in us that we should live by and through His power. So let us boldly cast our fear, our worry, our care, our dread of tomorrow (for He has not promised us even the next breath -- we only have THIS moment in which to trust Him), let us cast them all upon Him. Let us cast them upon the only one whose hands are worthy to carry them, by virtue of the nail prints. Let us follow the path of "good cheer" forged by the feet of the One who is worthy to be followed. Let us look ahead to a life full of great things our loving and gracious Lord has prepared for us, not only in eternity, but in this very day, this very life.

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. "
1Corinthians 2:9

No comments: