Be of Good Cheer!

2017-05-28T00:01:56+00:00 By |Blog, Discipleship & Spiritual Growth|
We live in a stressful world.  All of us have difficulties, problems, challenges, and needs.

In spite of this, I have seen people overcome incredible odds and rise up over seemingly insurmountable challenges: the death of a loved one, or the loss of a business, or the failure of a marriage, or a decline in their health. They somehow get through it, pick up the pieces, and inspire others with their joy and determination.

I have seen other people have a complete breakdown over the very same things.

So I have come to realize that life is only 10% what happens to you and 90% how you choose to respond to what happens.  One man’s circumstances cause him to bless God, while another man’s identical circumstances cause him to curse God.  One man loses his job and goes into depression; another man loses his job and starts his own business. Stress affects different people in different ways.  But why is this?

Studies have shown that the emotional and physical symptoms of stress are not caused by the event itself, but by how we perceive the event.  Your perception of things becomes your reality.  So if you “think” something is bad, you’ll react badly.  If you “think” something is only a temporary challenge to overcome then you will find a way to overcome it. Stress can be a negative or a positive force, depending on how we choose to interpret life. Apparently, things have no meaning until we attach a meaning to them. Once we decide what something means we give it the power to make us either bitter, or better.

I’m not suggesting that you can just trick your mind into thinking that bad things are really good, or that you can turn your life around with a little positive thinking.  It’s not that simple.  But Christians do have a very good reason to think about life challenges in a different way than the world does.

In John 16:33 Jesus said, “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, for I have overcome the world.”

Jesus knows that the world is not conducive to peacefulness or stress-free living.  There is a certain amount of difficulty we can expect simply because we live in a dangerous world with 7 billion other people.

The Bible does not promise anyone a world free from difficulties, challenges, trials, and tribulations. At the same time, Jesus does not want His followers to be overwhelmed or stressed-out.  I think this is an important thing to notice because it tells us something of God’s care and concern for us.  He is concerned for our mental and emotional health, just as He is concerned for our spiritual and physical health.  In addition to eternal life, He offers us peace of mind.

How then can we move towards stress-free living in a crazy world? We must accept the fact that life is difficult, and we must realize that in spite of these difficulties, Jesus offers us peace.  Your circumstances will leave you either CHEER-full or FEAR-full. Ultimately, it all depends on how you choose to respond to God – and to life.

About the Author:

CHIP BROGDEN is a best-selling author, teacher, and former pastor who shares "real, simple, truth" about a Christ-centered faith that is based on relationship, not religion. Learn more »

7 Comments

  1. Ashley Bower December 16, 2014 at 11:03 am - Reply

    I have been very down for the last few days. Last week I was fired from my job, the day before I would have received my Christmas bonus. I was very bitter at first, but then a verse from the Bible helped me to relook at my situation , Do not worry about the clothes on your back, or the food you must eat for those who put their trust in The Lord these things will be provided by our holy father in heaven. It made me realize that I hadn’t been relying on him at all, I was doing it my way, now I believe our Holy Father has reset my way of not only thinking , but doing as we’ll. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength .

    • Chip Brogden December 16, 2014 at 11:28 am - Reply

      Ashley,

      I have been in your situation too many times, so I understand. You’ll feel a whole range of emotions, including bitterness. I know it sounds cliche (but it is true) that when one door closes, another door opens. In the meantime, I think it’s awesome that you have decided to choose cheerfulness! Praying for your open door and next opportunity.

  2. Ken Dawson May 28, 2017 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    Your article is so very right on–I have a friend at work that Dad has brought into my life and I am being given the task of teaching him about living by Gods divine life instead of worrying about figuring things out by human reasoning using the wrong tree–this dude is all upset about Trump being president and there are other issues he is trying to figure out–so I told him that when Obama was president I was not happy but him being president requires my respect so instead of ranting about it I prayed for him and let Dad handle him–the result was peace–as the old saying goes—Get on the bus and leave the driving to us.

  3. Lea May 29, 2017 at 7:21 am - Reply

    Beautiful article Chip, God bless.

  4. Lila May 29, 2017 at 11:46 am - Reply

    “Though the fig tree doesn’t blossom and there be no cows in the stall, yet will I rejoice in the Lord, the God of my salvation.”[a loose translation from the end of Habakkuk]
    I was reminded of your article on David and Ziglag–and what made David into an overcomer.
    The first part of this article reminded me of a book, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” written by a psychiatrist who survived the holocaust and wrote of the survivors who thrust their hope beyond the barbed wire.

  5. Der May 30, 2017 at 2:40 am - Reply

    NO comment except praising God. Chip, May God increase His wisdom and understanding of Him more than ever.

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