I’ve told you this so that my peace will be with you. In the world you’ll have trouble. But cheer up! I have overcome the world.
John 16:33 GW
People have a misconception about life after you make a decision to follow Christ. They seem to think that you will have a happy-go-lucky life and all your problems will disappear. Christians are not sitting on some “glory cloud” singing the “hallelujah chorus” floating aimlessly through life. However, Christians have more of an advantage than the unbeliever because we have a powerful force on our side, which trumps any problem that may find its way to us. To be honest, once you make the decision to follow Christ, you may find that more problems come your way. The reason is because the devil will try to make you believe that you’ve made the wrong decision, and the life that you were living was much better. I like the quote “Your worst day with God is better than your best day without Him.” If your prior life was “without” God, in no way shape or form does that life compare to a life with God. He is the only One who can solve your problems anyway, so why not get connected with the problem solver.
While Jesus was on the earth, he had many trials that He had to overcome. He tells us explicitly in John 16:33 that we are going to have trouble. It’s a guarantee… you can take it to the bank. Other translations use: tribulations; trials and sorrows; suffering; difficulties; distress. Whichever word you want to use, it’s all unpleasant and bound to happen to everyone, believer or not. There is an attitude adjustment that must happen if you want to soothe the blow of the problem and the time that it lasts. The part that will take a conscious effort on your part is how Jesus said to handle it. He didn’t say to complain about it, cry about it, be frustrated about it, and be depressed about it. He said to “cheer up!” Again, other translations use the phrase: take heart; be of good cheer; take courage; be courageous; be encouraged; be brave. All of these are positive action phrases that you will have to set your mind to do on purpose. James 1:2 says to count it all joy when you encounter many trials and tribulations. Your first reaction will not be to smile and to be happy, but that’s the difference between a believer and an unbeliever. The believer can smile in the middle of a storm because he or she knows that God is on their side, and they can continue to enjoy life regardless of it. The unbeliever gets into works of the flesh, operates in doubt and unbelief, which makes the problem worse. You don’t have to be shaken when you have a problem because you have Jesus’ peace, His power, and His ways of handling things. All that should be enough to keep you happy and to keep a smile on your face.
You are not a bad sinful person if you get problems. Let the problem serve its purpose by strengthening your faith and helping you grow spiritually so you will lack nothing (see James 1:2-4). No problem should leave you defeated when you have God on your side. Don’t blame God when you have a problem because he warned you that they will come. He isn’t surprised by your problems and neither should you when they manifest in your life. Luckily for you, He already has your deliverance planned.
- No weapon formed against you shall prosper (see Isaiah 54:17)
- The battles of life are already won (see 1 John 5:4-5)
- God has already declared you a victor (see Romans 8:37)
- Satan is a defeated foe (see Romans 16:20)
So instead of being depressed, having a bad attitude, and complaining when troubles come, CHEER UP!