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Today's Daily Devotional
Let God's Word shine light on your step today
as you grow in your relationship with Christ.
This is what the Scripture says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”
(Heb. 3:15)
Today's Devotional is from our series
Following As God Leads
Just as God led the Israelites day by day and even through the nights, so He desires to lead us. We only have to watch HIM, and follow in His steps as He directs us.

God has a certain place He wants each of us to be, and at certain times. If we will but trust Him, He will guide our foot steps each day at a time, and when we lay down He will watch over us, and even give us a cloud of fire to point the way as we week Him in the quietness at night.
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Devotional: Be of Good Cheer (pt 1)
May 30th
Christ-Like Friendship and Support

Holding hands in fellowship with Christ-like friendship as we learn how to connect the truth of God's Word with everyday life, while walking through the pages of His Word.

(John 16:33 NKJV)

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,
I have overcome the world.”

During the 3 years Jesus spent with His disciples, He went to great lengths to build up their faith. He knew that these men would face many trials, test, hardships, sorrow, and suffering in the days and years to come. These men-- just like us-- would have their faith tested and tried over and over again. And Jesus' message to these men is the same to us; "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." In other words, "Have courage and do not be afraid, I am with you. In all that you are going through, I have been there too-- I have been in your shoes-- and I will not fail you."

Yesterday while I was cleaning house the phrase, "Be of good cheer..." was on my mind.  I knew it was what Jesus had told his followers, and I knew it wasn't Him simply telling His people, "cheer up" like we do when trying to encourage someone not to be so down. I decided I really wanted to take a deeper look at this, so this morning I did a search and study on this phrase.

It came up a total of 9 times out of the Bible selection of the five that I searched. Upon reading them and reflecting on the passages it brought deeper comfort to me, that I would like to share.

The first statement I found was in Job 9, "If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint, I will put off my sad face, and be of good cheer...'" (vs 27 ESV) Basically Job was saying he was going to change his attitude. Instead of being sour and wallowing in self pity-- he was going to look at things from a different perspective. Which is something good for us to always do. God is a GOOD GOD, so if things are not going well, then maybe it is time for us to take a step back and look at it from HIS perspective. Is there something positive we can get from what is happening? Is there something God is trying to teach us? Is He maybe allowing storms to grow our faith? Sometimes God really does have to work in US FIRST-- to bring changes in US in ways we may not realize there needs to be-- BEFORE God can work in others around us. Sometimes this involves attitude adjustments, sometimes it is in pruning, other times it can simply be He is bringing something new out in us. All of these situations can be painful; but instead of complaining or pointing to everyone else around us, we need to quit frowning and smile because God is at work, and we can trust He will NOT stop until we are shining brightly for Him.

The other eight quotes came from Jesus: And let me just say that first and foremost when Jesus was telling people to be of good cheer; He was looking past the obvious circumstance, and the way things appeared to be, to what He KNEW them to be instead. Today I will share the first three and tomorrow a deeper look at the others.

The 2nd verse (out of the original 9 in my study) I read came from Matt. 9 Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”(vs. 2 NKJV) While reading from this passage three things struck me:

(1st) The four friends who brought this man to Jesus, never doubted that Jesus COULD heal their friend, and they didn't doubt that He WOULD heal their friend, which meant they had a really good idea of who Jesus was and His heart for others. Could you have imagined the grief and disappointment they would have gone through-- not to mention the crippled friend-- if they had gone to all that trouble to bring this man to Jesus, and then Jesus HADN'T healed him? It would have shipwrecked their faith and everyone around them. But there was no question, they didn't stop and talk about it, NOR did they ask Jesus first if they could bring their friend to Him-- they just did it! Would you have, could you have done what they did? My friend they just SO BELIEVED in the heart of Jesus and the power of God; would that we do the same! My friend, never doubt the love of God. No matter what you or your family is going through, do not falter or turn away from God by questioning His heart. We may not understand what is happening around us; we may not be able to see His hand moving in our circumstances, but we can trust God's heart, and know that He loves us, regardless how it may seem like everything is falling down around us.

(2nd) Jesus healed him from the inside first! Jesus said the man's sins were forgiven-- just think before any evidence of physical healing had taken place, Jesus dealt with the man's heart.

(3rd) It didn't matter what the four friends had done, the man on the mat still had a part to play too. He had to believe and GET UP. He had to obey Jesus' command to actually receive the blessing. Sometimes we can hear God say something or even promise us something, but if we don't do our part in believing, receiving, and acting on that belief... we can (and will) miss so much.

In the next set of verses, we actually read about the same story. Matt. 9:22 and Luke 8:48 And He said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.” Jesus was rewarding her faith. Being a writer and always having an eye for detail, I wonder if Jesus smiled. Did His face light up as He spoke to this woman? I like to think that He did. Just think, this woman's faith was so great that she didn't even ask Jesus to speak into her situation, she just simply believed that by touching Him she would be ok.Sometimes there really is a call for "no words needed." A time for silent faith-- this woman didn't ask, she just believed and it was enough. My friend, sometimes that is all we need too, no words-- just knowing His hand is on us or our situation should be enough to bring  comfort and peace to us, even if we cannot see the evidence of the healing just yet.

My friend, whatever the situation is you are facing right now, I say to you, "Be of good cheer" because Jesus is with You. My friend even when you think you are totally alone, you are not-- God is there. If you will TURN TO HIM in your pain and hurt, instead of away from him, you will find that He will send an angel to minister to you, to comfort you, and to strengthen you. And if that is ALL He sends is one angel-- know that one is enough! Many times we have seen in God's Word where one angel can wipe out a mighty army over night. They did back then, they can in your life too. Just remember that when Jesus faced His darkest hour and asked for this cup to be taken from Him; God could not give Him what He prayed for, however God did not leave His Son to face it alone, He sent an angel to comfort Him until He had the strength to stand up and move on. God will do the same for you.

Lord, God, we come before You today to say thank You for Your mercy. Thank You for Your love and grace. Thank You for the encouragement You give us when things that seem to bring us face down. Lord, thank You for the peace You give and the healing when there are simply no words.
Father God, I lift this reader up to You, and ask You to give them an extra measure of peace and certainty today.  Lord, I ask You to shine even brighter for them so they can see You. Lord, I pray You grace will simply rain down on them today.
In Jesus' name,

My friend, have a wonderful and blessed day
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