Sunday, July 17, 2011

{be of good cheer (no matter what happens around you)}

Be of good cheer.

Jesus said this to the paralytic man lying helpless on a bed (Matthew 9:2), to the frightened Apostles battling the tempestuous sea (Matthew 14:27) and to the 10 elders about to go on a dangerous and troubled mission (D&C 61:36).

"These people had every reason to be anxious, fearful, and hopeless, yet the Lord directed them toward a reason to rejoice.
How does the Lord's admonition of cheer sound in our world today? When economic uncertainties, terrorist threats, and corruption provide top stories for the evening news, how can the good news of the gospel intervene? When we experience personal loss in so many ways and on so many days, what is left to be cheerful about?"

"We find the key to understanding this seeming contradiction in the context of the Last Supper. Speaking to the Apostles in His final moments before Gethsemane, Jesus said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Elder Neal A. Maxwell explained: “The unimaginable agony of Gethsemane was about to descend upon Jesus; Judas’ betrayal was imminent. Then would come Jesus’ arrest and arraignment; the scattering of the Twelve like sheep; the awful scourging of the Savior; the unjust trial; the mob’s shrill cry for Barabbas instead of Jesus; and then the awful crucifixion on Calvary. What was there to be cheerful about? Just what Jesus said: He had overcome the world! The atonement was about to be a reality. The resurrection of all mankind was assured. Death was to be done away with—Satan had failed to stop the atonement.”1
Christ’s enabling power helps us feel happiness and cheer amid mortal gloom and doom. Misfortune and hardship lose their tragedy when viewed through the lens of the Atonement."

"Obedience to God is not insurance against pain and sadness. Challenges have always been included in God’s great plan to test our faith and to help us grow in humility and compassion."

"Part of Christ’s mission is to heal broken hearts. He came to wipe away our tears, not to ensure that we would never weep (see Revelation 7:17). He clearly promised, “In the world ye shall have tribulation” (John 16:33)."

"We may come to believe that we can and should trust in our own efforts rather than humbly acknowledge God. This is self-righteousness. When we look through the lens of our righteousness and take comfort in our good efforts, the idea of depending wholly on Christ (see 2 Nephi 31:19; Moroni 6:4) seems a bit risky.
Unwittingly, when we reason this way, we sound eerily similar to Korihor, the anti-Christ from the Book of Mormon, who taught that “every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospered according to his genius, and … conquered according to his strength” (Alma 30:17), thereby arguing that his listeners had no need for Christ and His Atonement."

"Cheerfulness in the scriptural context connotes a divinely assured optimism, “a deep trust in God’s unfolding purposes,” a grounded conviction that God will always keep His promises.2 When Christ proclaims, “Be of good cheer,” He is not requesting a na├»ve, Pollyanna-like response to life’s cruel twists and turns. Nor is He promising a pain-free life of constant bliss. Trial is no respecter of persons. Tragedy and hardship do not discriminate. Our world sees opposition among rich and poor, men and women, the righteous as well as the wicked. The Savior specifically prayed that God would not take us “out of the world” (John 17:15). “In this world your joy is not full,” He taught, “but in me your joy is full” (D&C 101:36). True happiness and satisfaction are found only by turning away from the world and coming to Christ."

"As mentioned before, Jesus Christ has indeed overcome the world. As darkness has no power when light appears, so the world cannot overcome the Light of the World (see John 1:5). He is the Victor, come to earth “with healing in his wings” (3 Nephi 25:2) for all humankind. He will not forsake us.
As a mother hen covers her chicks with her wings, so the Redeemer will surround us with His comprehensive power if we will come to Him (see Matthew 23:37). There is room under those wings for all of us, for He declares:
“Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come” (D&C 68:6).
True, we live in a time of war, a day of conflicts and terrors not only among nations but within our own hearts. But He who is the Balm of Gilead (see Jeremiah 8:22) is the Lord of all creation; only in Him are peace and serenity found. Amid all our mortal gloom and doom, Jesus Christ has overcome the world. Come, let us rejoice."

Camille Fronk Olson, Associate Professor of Ancient Scripture, BYU.
Ensign, July 2011, page 57.

= The trick is to look towards the Atonement which will heal and cleanse it ALL.

"The gospel of Jesus Christ has the answers to all of our problems."
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Ensign, May 2009, page 75

No comments:

Post a Comment