I once heard about a parakeet named Chippie. The bird’s problems began when his owner used a vacuum to clean up the seeds and loose feathers from the bottom of his cage. When the phone rang, the owner turned to pick it up and, you guessed it, with a thud and a swoosh, Chippie was gone!
The owner quickly turned off the vacuum and unzipped the bag. There was Chippie—stunned but still breathing. Seeing that he was covered with black dust, his owner rushed Chippie to the bathtub, turned on the faucet full blast, and held him under the icy water. Realizing she had done even more damage to the poor bird, she quickly cranked up her blow dryer and gave the wet, shivering little parakeet an overly powerful blast. The story ends, “Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore.”
Here’s the point: Chippie had a rough day and lost his joy and his will to sing. Too many of God’s people don’t sing anymore. They’ve lost their will to sing and their joy. But God wants to restore it!
You may be knocked down but you’re not knocked out! Get up with a song in your heart. Don’t let a bad day, a weird week, a terrible month, or even an awful year steal your joy and rob you of the song Jesus wants to put in your heart.
When we’re facing a difficult situation, one of the first things we are tempted to do is lose our joy. Nehemiah 8:10 (NKJV) says, “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” If our joy is drained, so is our strength. When we become weak, it is difficult to fight the good fight of faith.
Joy is a spiritual force and must be evident in our lives if we are to overcome and have victory in every situation. Jesus was very aware of this powerful force. On numerous occasions, He instructed His followers to “be of good cheer.”
When Jesus ran into people who were full of agony and despair, He wasn’t like the guy walking across a bridge who saw another man about to jump. The first man went over and tried to stop him. He asked, “What’s going on in your life?” The fellow who wanted to jump started telling him all the terrible issues that had gotten him to that point. What the first man heard was so bad that he grabbed the other man’s hand and said, “I’ll jump with you. Let’s end it all right now!”
Every time Jesus told somebody to “be of good cheer,” the last thing that person wanted to do was be happy, do a little dance, or be full of joy. But Jesus is the One who brings joy. Jesus is the author of cheer. He wants His people to cheer up! The verb cheer means “to bring encouragement, to give courage to, to put in good spirits,” and “to provide happiness or joy.”
How can we cheer up and be glad no matter what we’re going through? We can do that because Jesus is the answer. Nothing is too difficult for Him.
Rejoicing is a demonstration of our faith in God. Being of good cheer shows that we believe God’s Word is true. Christians ought to be the happiest people on earth because Jesus has given us victory in every area of life. If we don’t rejoice when attacks come against us, the devil will think he is winning. But if we act on the Word regardless of the situation, we are stating that we believe God is working on our behalf, no matter what. And we win!
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