Peace And Good Cheer In Jesus Christ
By David J. Stewart | July 2014
John 16:33, “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.”
I am often reminded of our text verse from John 16:33 due to my constant toothache-like pain and ripping tension in back of my neck where the bone is located. I have stenosis and radiculopathy. I started having this condition in my mid thirties and it has adversely and drastically changed my life. But something I have learned is that no matter what happens to you in life, it becomes the new norm after a couple years.
For the first several years I was depressed, anxious and desperate to get medical help, but then after my second neck surgery in 2010 left me worse with Peripheral Neuropathy in addition to the original symptoms, I gave up hope in the medical industry. After having consulted with EIGHT neurosurgeons and undergoing TWO ineffective major neck surgeries, I have been advised by numerous specialists to leave things as they are or face worse results.
I have prayed from the very beginning for the Lord to heal me, but I am convinced that I have been given a thorn in the flesh so that God could mightily bless my FIVE online ministry websites, which have accumulatively received upwards of 100,000,000 visitors since 2002. After 11 years, I've stopped keeping statistics so that God will get all the glory. There's no way humanly possible that I ever could have been used of God to reach so many people without an online ministry. 1st Corinthians 16:9, “For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.”
I plead with you for your daily prayers for myself and these important online ministries. By God's grace I hope, pray and plan to continue. My health is a big obstacle and burden, but I am not allowing my suffering to go to waste. If you'd like, listen to the MP3 sermon titled “WASTED SUFFERING” by Dr. Jack Hyles. My suffering is my motivation to continue, rather than enjoying life as I once could and did. I long for the end of this earthly life, when my pain will be no more, and my Jesus I shall see. Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
Jesus said that we can have peace in Him, by keeping in remembrance His teachings. John 16:33, “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.” The Lord knows that this sinful world is depressing. Our Lord was acquainted with sorrows and grief Himself while upon the earth. Isaiah 53:3, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” The Lord's life was full of sorrows, burdens and hurting for others, sharing their pain and suffering (Philippians 2:4-5). Oh, to be like Jesus!!!
Hebrews 4:15-16 teaches that Christ was tempted IN ALL POINTS, just like we are. Thus, the Lord is fully able to comprehend and understand the burdens, loneliness, heartaches and problems that we are enduring in life. The Lord understands what it's like to be told that you have cancer, or your child has Leukemia, or your wife just ran off with the guy at work, et cetera. We cannot fully understand how the Lord knows all these things, but He is God almighty and all things are possible to Him, including omniscience (all wise and knowing).
Honoring the Lord by Keeping His Commandments
I was reading the Old Testament today concerning David murdering Uriah. 2nd Samuel 12:9, “Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.” Notice that Nathan told David he has “DESPISED” both God and His commandments. The Hebrew word for “despised” here is bazah which means “to disesteem,” that is, not esteem. To esteem means “to be honored, respected and well regarded.”
David dishonored the Lord and disrespected Him. When we willfully sin, we are dishonoring God, showing Him that we do not regard Him nor His commandments. This is why we are told in the Bible that “THE FEAR OF THE LORD IS THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM”! Psalms 111:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.” Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”
Certainly we have no right to claim the Lord's peace and good cheer if we are wilfully, deliberately, intentionally living in sin. Psalms 119:9, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.” There's no secret to overcoming sin. The Bible says to just DO RIGHT! The way you stop lying is to tell the truth. The way you stop living in sexual immorality is to be pure and be faithful to God. All sin is a matter between us and God, Who is the only Lawgiver and Judge (James 4:12). We will always succumb at weak times to sin as long as we are in the flesh, but this does not excuse nor diminish our sins, and there are always consequences. God chastises (disciplines) and scourges (whips) His children (Hebrews 12:6-8).
It is a wonderful feeling to know that we've been doing our best to live right, because we remember what happened in the past when we sinned. That's what life is all about, that is, learning from our sins, failures and mistakes and by God's grace not repeating them again and again. David said in Psalms 119:67 and 71, “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. ... It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” The key to the Christian life is to always GET BACK UP! Don't quit! Fail forward, not backward. Let tomorrow find you a better man or woman than today. Amen!
Peace and Good Cheer in Jesus
It is important that we read all of the teachings of Christ in the chapters prior to John 16:33, because He said that these things were spoken that we might have peace in Him, and be of good cheer. Here is one of the teachings that the Lord gave us to cheer us throughout each mundane day...
John 16:20-22, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.”
Jesus likens the believer's life to a pregnant woman in labor. She feels much pain and dreads the delivery, but she rejoices as soon as she hears the healthy cry and the baby has been delivered. In the same way, the Christian believer suffers much reproach and persecution in this life. Psalms 34:19, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.” Ah, but we know, because the Lord has promised, that we will rejoice when we see Him, knowing that YOUR JOY NO MAN TAKETH FROM YOU!
I wrote John 16:22 on my tool box years ago when I was working as a mechanic, because of the harsh persecution I was enduring at the hands of the wicked in the workplace. I clave to that promise from God that one day NO MAN would ever be able to rob my joy again. How often in life has someone hurt you and robbed you of your joy in the Lord? I don't care who you are, you are not invincible to the pain which is caused by people. A man once told me that people equal pain, because he had been deeply hurt numerous times by others. The best way to deal with people problems is to love them in return with God's unconditional love and place all that they say and do into the Lord's hands for judgment in eternity (Romans 12:19). Make sure to let everyone know that you are a born-again Christian, despite your faults, sins and short-comings in life. Let people know that you are an imperfect person, a sinner at best, and saved by God's merciful grace.
The whole world is waiting for you to fall when you are a Christian! Just remember that the Lord had enemies, and they lied about Him, accusing Him of horrible things, eventually murdering Him. Do you think you're going to escape such hatred and persecution by unbelievers? Not a chance if your testimony is Christlike (2nd Timothy 3:12). Jesus plainly taught that the servant is not greater than his Lord. If they hated Jesus, and they did, then they will hate Christ's followers as well, and they certainly do hate us all.
Claiming to Follow Jesus, But Following the Devil
If you claim to follow Jesus like mega-popular religious singer Amy Grant, but follow the Devil instead, then the world will honor you. 2nd Timothy 3:12, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Amy does NOT live godly in Christ Jesus. This is why Amy was honored with a Hollywood star of fame on their famous sidewalk of the stars. This is why FaceBook (nose book) has fan clubs titled, “Gay Friends Of Amy Grant.” Miss Grant is now wrongfully promoting acceptance of the homosexual community on the basis of God's grace...
A Wrong Attitude Toward Homosexuality (it's not God's love to accept the homosexual agenda)
GLAAD Honors Amy Grant For Sinfully Praising LGBT Fans (Christians must preach against sin!)
What a wicked thing to do. May I say, God's grace that brings salvation is only offered to THE UNGODLY (Romans 4:5-6), not arrogant sinners who defend their homosexuality and refuse to acknowledge that they are sinners (Mark 2:17). NO ONE ever got saved who didn't realize that he or she was a sinner (Romans 3:19). To hear an awesome MP3 sermon on this subject, please listen to Dr. Jack Hyles preach the message titled, “STEPS TO SANCTIFICATION.” Although a homosexual does not have to stop committing homosexuality to be saved, he or she DOES have to acknowledge that they are a guilty sinner in the eyes of Holy God.
God is So Good to Mankind
Psalms 145:9, “The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.”
Jesus plainly foretold in John 16:33 that we would endure TRIBULATIONS in this earthly life, and we all do. Any idiot can handle a crisis, it's this day-to-day living that gets me down. Life is a rollercoaster of emotions, challenges and problems. Expect the unexpected! Life is what happens to you while you're making big plans. But in all this rejoice that your name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life in Heaven, because most people's names are not (Revelation 20:15). Luke 10:20, “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”
God is so good, He's so good to me. God is good to you to, if you're paying attention and are honest in your heart. Take a look at all the glorious produce, foods, meats, spices and delights the next time that you visit a major supermarket, and then realize that God created all that for us. It is God that put the colors in the rainbow and the sunset. It is God that put the enjoyment in marriage. It is God that gave us healthy bodies, and if your body is not healthy, God created you for a purpose, just like the blind man in John 9:1-3.
God Saves Dirty, Rotten, Ungodly, Sinners, Like Me
God saves dirty, filthy, rotten, horrible, sinners like me. I do not rejoice in my past sins, but I acknowledge them before my heavenly Father and by His grace hope never to repeat them. How about you my friend? Where do you stand with God? My sins have been washed away by the precious blood of Jesus, and not by any self-righteous efforts of my own. I try to live right because I AM saved, not to GET SAVED. I got saved by trusting Jesus Who died on the cross for my sins, was buried, and resurrected from the dead after three days. That's the good news of the Gospel. I came as an unholy sinner, having seen what I was in the eyes of a holy God, and by faith I received Jesus as my personal Savior when I was 13-years-old. Amen! Fallujah! I hope that you'll do the same while you still can. Life is very short compared to eternity. In fact, there is no comparison, for eternity has no end.
Proverbs 14:34, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”
Mark 1:15: “...repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
"Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." —John 5:39
"In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power." —2nd Thessalonians 1:8,9
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