Thursday, May 1, 2014

John 16:31-33 -- On Being of Good Cheer

"Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?
Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
John 16:31-33

What struck me today about this verse was the "be of good cheer" part.  That seemed like part of the recipe for peace.  Christ tells his disciples that they might not believe as strongly as they say they do,  because they are soon going to leave him alone.  But, then, it is okay because he can never *be* alone.  The Father is always with him.  Having that spirit is part of the recipe for peace, and the other part seems to be the cheerfulness part. :)  We're going to have tribulation, but if we believe that God has truly overcome the world, then we don't have any reason to be negative or bitter or sad about any of it, because Christ took care of it all long ago.  We don't have to have mortal blinders on.  With his help, we can see past any challenge or obstacle and know that it is all temporary, and that we don't have to deal with any of it alone.  God is always there to help.
Often we accept the stress and the pain of life as natural, and think that someday it will be gone... in the afterlife perhaps, *then* we can be happy.  But, truly, we can be happy now.  We can be of good cheer, because Christ has overcome the world, and so can we.  We don't have to be negative because we encounter negative.  WE are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).  We can be positive, and make the world better, no matter what is being broadcast to us.  We just have to remember that we are free to make a different choice (2 Nephi 10:23), that God will help us (D&C 78:18), and that Christ has already taken care of the real problems of mortality.
Today, let's find the good in the world around us.  Let's be positive in the face of negativity.  Let's change the game, and make things better rather than just praying for it to be over.  Christ asks us to be of good cheer.  Let's listen.  There is no reason or obligation to be sad or upset, even when bad things are happening in the world, as they always will.  Let's find the good things that are happening, and celebrate them.  Of course let's do something about the bad where we can, and not just ignore, but after doing what we can, let's not let it harm us by internalizing it and suffering over things that we can't change.  Let's leave the rest to God, and choose happiness.  Let's be an example of the believers (1 Timothy 4:12), and of the peace and joy that can be found in the Lord.

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