“And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.”
Paul was certainly in a bad situation, and to some degree this situation he found himself in was of his own making. He was warned not to go to Jerusalem, but he went anyway. In the verse above, Paul was in bonds, and the likelihood of him being released was very slim. However, the LORD came to him at night and commanded him to “be of good cheer.” God knew that the situation didn’t have to dictate his spirit, but he could choose to control his spirit.
Do you find yourself in a bad situation and it seems like there is no way out of it? Let me remind you of the words that our LORD said to Paul while he sat in prison, “Be of good cheer.” My friend, you have a reason to have a cheerful spirit in spite of your situation. Let me point out a few reasons as to why you can be of good cheer in your bad situation.
First, it is a choice to be of good cheer. When the LORD told Paul to be of good cheer, He was showing that having a cheerful spirit in a bad situation is a choice. You can choose to have a cheerful spirit no matter how bad you perceive your situation to be. Others have had a cheerful spirit in worse circumstances; therefore, you can choose to be of good cheer.
Second, you can be of good cheer because of the presence that is with you. The reason Paul could be of good cheer was because “the Lord stood by him.” You can be cheerful in any situation in life if you focus on the LORD’s presence instead of looking at the present. Your spirit all comes down to what you choose to focus upon. You always have a reason to have a cheerful spirit as long as you have the LORD’s presence, and His presence never leaves the saint of God; therefore, you can always be of good cheer.
Third, you can be of good cheer because God still has a purpose for you. God was not done with Paul, and He is not done with you. When you see that God still has a purpose for you to live is when you can find it easier to be of good cheer.
My friend, if you are going to be of good cheer, you must stop dwelling on the present so you can see the presence. I am not saying that your situation is good, but the presence of God is good; therefore, you have a reason to be of good cheer. The whole world may forsake you, and people you thought would never leave you may have forsaken you, but you can always be assured that the LORD is always with you. When you understand that the LORD is never going to leave you is when you can let His presence become the focus that dictates your spirit.
Moreover, stop dwelling on the situation so you can see the mission. You still have a purpose of living, so ignore what you are going through so you can see the mission. The situation you find yourself in is only trying to pull your attention away from what you are supposed to be doing. Keeping a spirit of good cheer can be done when you see you still have a purpose for living.
Finally, ignore the discord and see the souls that you can still reach. There is still a whole world that needs the Gospel. The easiest and quickest way to be of good cheer is to ignore the noise around your life and go lead someone to Jesus Christ. Leading people to Christ is the easiest way to be of good cheer.