There is so much going on in this world that there is no shortage of things to talk about.
Many conversations are centered on negative news headlines or wrongs or hurts from the past. Sadly some people find themselves stuck in very negative situations. In addition to negative issues, there are also many positive conversations about family or sports or positive events.
Jesus reveals to us in John 16:33 that …“In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer I have overcome the world!”
The message revealed in this scripture is very clear: When we find ourselves in challenging or negative situations, our focus must turn to Jesus so that our inner person can be of good cheer. This positive message of Christ gives us courage to keep moving forward.
In our humanity, it can be so very easy to get “caught up” in a cause or to “fight against some evil” when our fight should be “the good fight of faith.” When Jesus was about to leave His closest followers, He gave them clear instructions in Mark 16:15: Go into all the world and preach the gospel to everyone. Jesus did not instruct them to preach any other message but the “gospel.” The gospel is good news, not bad news, and news is something that has already happened!
A friend of mine, Pastor Shon Davis, named his church “Jesus Is The Answer” and as cliché as that may sound to some people, Jesus truly is the answer! In the reference I just gave in Mark 16, Jesus goes on to let them know they would encounter a myriad of challenges, but would overcome them all. They needed to just preach the good news of the finished work of Christ and the Lord would work with them confirming the gospel with signs following.
In Acts there is an incredible account describing what I am striving to convey in this blog.
Acts 8:5-8 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them and multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles he did, for unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice came out of many who were possessed and many paralyzed and lame were healed and there was great joy in the city
Notice that Philip preached Christ to them. This is the message: Jesus is the answer! Paul the Apostle wrote that the preaching of the gospel IS the power of God! If we were to stop reading at this point in this account, we would miss the challenge or the tribulation that Philip faced in this city. The next verse starts out with BUT…
Verse 9-13 But there was a certain man named Simon and was known in the city for his sorcery and the people of Samaria believed he was a great sorcerer and they esteemed him with respect because he had bewitched them with sorceries for a long time. But when they believed the preaching of Philip concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized both men and women. Then Simon himself believed and after he was baptized he stayed with Philip in wonder as he beheld the miracles and signs which were done.
Here was an incredible opportunity to start warring in the spirit against sorcery and witchcraft - yet you do not see this anywhere in Philip’s message. He preached Christ there! The preaching of the finished work of Christ is the gospel and releases the power of God. The Lord works with people who preach Christ and Him crucified!
There was great joy in Samaria as a result of the message of the gospel. Friend, if you want to “be of good cheer,” focus on the reality that Jesus overcame the world! He also overcame the flesh and conquered all the powers of darkness - not some, but all. The most amazing reality of this good news is that Jesus fulfilled every part of the law which qualified Him to become the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the entire world!
God’s love is revealed at the cross through Jesus Christ who took the sins of the world and gave us His perfect righteousness. This is how we are qualified to go to the very throne room of God Himself, the Throne Of Grace, to find help and obtain mercy in our times of need.