“Be of good cheer” Words to encourage…

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

I’ve had a burdened heart for the hurting the past day and spent much of last night and this morning praying for them and studying on what I can do to help ease their sorrow. I have lots of thoughts. Many thoughts are not worth even having much less sharing, but there are some thoughts, some words, that I can know have the power to encourage, to help, to soothe sorrows, and to bless. They are not my words, but they are The Lord’s and they’ve come together in my mind this morning in a way I want to share here.

As I thought of all those who are heavily on my heart last night and today, some have sick children, some are grieving for children they have had to bury, some sorrow over wayward and lost children, some are widows, some have cancer, one has a brain tumor, two young couples recently lost their infant babies, one has MS, one has a husband of many years who has left her alone and sorrowful, one is living in near-constant fear and anxiety over health problems, one lost his dad a few years ago and is still deeply hurting, we have a loved one who has been lying in a nursing home for 7 years unable to walk or talk, some families are divided in strife…my list is seemingly endless concerning all of those I know who suffer. And then we consider the lost, the afflicted in mind, the poor throughout the world who know no hope. What are we to do and where are we to turn considering all?

First, I want to share that when I look at the overwhelming anguish and sorrow all around, though it grieves me, I find in the depths of my heart hope and truth remains. I do not despair in the face of the many tragedies that face us all. I often think of the words to a song that never fails to lift my thoughts to heaven. The words, “We Shall Behold Him, we shall behold Him, face to face, in all of His glory…” of all the songs, this one sums up for me the promise on which I stand firm. When all is said and done, I shall behold Him, My Savior and Lord! Scripture tells us in 1 John 3:23, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is, And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.”

We are told to speak in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, to sing and make melody in our hearts to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things, and to submit ourselves to one another in the fear and reverence of the Lord (Ephesians 5:19). We are to encourage and remind one another of the promises we have from the Lord Himself so that we might be strengthened by hope.

I often think of how my mind, if not guarded, slips into criticism and worry and all manner of places it ought not to go, so it is always necessary for me to bring it back to what is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. These things, and only these things, are worth passing along. May we be willing to do it!

It is recorded in John 16:33 that Jesus said after sharing many words with those in His midst, “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.” And we are encouraged in Jude 1:20-22, “…beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some having compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” Sometimes during church my eyes will alight on the face of a loved one of whose personal burdens I am aware, and in that moment I see the joy of the Lord in their countenance. In those times I often think of this scripture about being built up in the most holy faith. In moments of sincere prayer and worship, indeed we are being build up in the most holy faith. It always makes my own heart glad when I see the Lord blessing one of His own with HIs wondrous touch of peace.

People think about heaven and speak of heaven in different ways. Some tend to think of heaven as similar to earth, minus sin. They think of reuniting with family members, which is a beautiful thought. Yet, in those times when I am still and find myself longing for heaven, it is Jesus, the One and Only, that my heart longs for. I believe, when we who are HIs, see Him, face to face, in all of His glory, we will be filled with a satisfaction and love so pure and perfect that nothing else will matter. This flesh that binds us and buffets us and perplexes us, will be done away with and we will be complete in Him. He was the One that purchased our pardon on calvary and He is the ultimate fulfillment for all of which we long.

I think of prayer, and as I’ve shared in previous blogs, I so appreciate the gift of it, that the Lord made a way for us to bring our hearts and burdens to Him, that He gives us grace to pray, but I love to think of the old song Sweet Hour of Prayer where we sing, “this robe of flesh I’ll drop and rise to seize the everlasting prize and shout while passing through the air fairwell, fairwell, sweet hour of prayer!” We will no longer need to pray because the fulfillment of every prayer of every true believer will be fulfilled when we find ourselves in the presence of our King.

May we take comfort knowing that He reigns in sovereignty and by His mercies…by His mercies, He oversees all that He has made; He rules and reigns in righteousness; His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts, but He is good. His thoughts and HIs ways are higher than our’s and by faith we can trust His Wisdom in all things.

Revelation 1:7-8 “Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so. Amen. I am alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which, is and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”

I pray that everyone who takes the time to read what was on my heart last night and this morning will find comfort.

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