How to be of "good cheer" during the coronavirus?

Hi @Interested_in_Bible,

In John 16:33 we read:

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (NKJV).

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (ESV)

Robert Mounce comments:

Peace in the biblical sense is more than tranquility. It is the šalôm (GK 8934) of God, the sense of complete well-being that characterizes the life lived in accordance with the design of God. Peace comes from acting on the promises of God.

Believers were never intended to be exempt from sorrow or difficulty in this world. We are, however, expected to be at peace because by faith we have been brought into an inseparable union with Jesus Christ and share his victory over sin and Satan.

In a time of growing anxiety, fear, and even panic, how are you cultivating “good cheer” in your own heart? How are you spreading good cheer to your church family and neighbors?

14 Likes

One thing we are making sure to do is be calm and at peace ourselves. We have had many conversations with relatives who needed a calming influence. Being at peace and learning as much as we can about what our government leaders are trying to do, as well as reading the guidelines they give and following them, helps us when those we come in contact with ask questions about what they should do in different situations. Trying to see the big picture as best we can from the perspective of citizens of this world has helped us to understand a bit what is going on around us and why our governments are taking certain steps for our good. We also never forget that our God is there watching over us all.

My husband has spent a good bit of time making phone calls to relatives and friends to check their status and find out if they have any needs. My husband will continue to work and will be able to help in many ways with his continued steady income.

On my part I make calls or send texts to people I feel may need some cheering as they are staying home in relationships that may see increased strain from being together all day every day. As I’ve heard mentioned more than once our online technology is coming in very handy right now to keep us connected with the world. This is a great place to continue to be a witness and encouraging presence to others.

One of my girls has started a bible study with a group of girls from church. They seem to really love the interaction and wanted to meet for the study every night! I see this as a plus and a great opportunity for them to become close and grow together. I also encourage them to FaceTime their friends and cousins to keep them company, and be an encouragement, on occasion. I have a feeling some of the teens are not on board with having to stay home all the time. :wink: We are fortunate to have a large house, many happy family members at home, and 41 acres in the country so it is not hard at all for us to stay at home. Others may live in more compact quarters and may appreciate having a friend to call and keep them company for a bit.

As a family we have contacted our church for information on how we can help our community. They have a great many resources as they are a very large church and can give us ideas of ways to help even while we are required to remain at home for the most part. We are also being made more aware of how we can utilize our over abundance of earthly resources to help others now and in the months to come.

11 Likes

I’ve been thinking about this all day because I’m so challenged that the only true source of peace and comfort is Jesus. On one level, we keep good cheer by carrying on with normal life, Home Schooling and playing in the sunshine. Having a family habit of Bible study and worship keeps that going. There are simple moments when we see a neighbour and chat together (at a good distance :wink:). Today the postman made me laugh by spending time neatly stacking our parcels on our doorstep and standing far off to make sure I found them. Little jokes and laughter seem to keep the cheer. I certainly find myself offering much bigger smiles to people if I ever come across someone. I’ve encouraged my children to write a letter to someone each day to make them feel that we’re thinking about them.

At a deeper level, I keep asking God how I can convey the ‘peace that surpasses all understanding’ to friends and family members who don’t yet have Jesus in their lives. That, I believe, is the essence of good cheer, exactly as you quoted in John 16:33. On one hand, this global situation is a big opportunity to speak truth into people’s lives, but at the same time, ensuring it’s done well is vital which can be tricky when it’s not face to face. I think I personally need to press into prayer more on this, keep seeking God for wisdom and opportunities.

8 Likes

I have been reading the Bible much more. Also spending much time in prayer. Sine I am one of the essential medical staff, I have also been working long hours - 12 hour shifts.

8 Likes

Hi Irina, that’s amazing, will pray that God strengthens you for your long shifts. Have you been able to subtly (even if you can’t be explicit) share some of God’s peace with the patients and staff you work with in order to strengthen their hearts?

5 Likes

Levity in tense times brings hope that life will go on. A merry heart is also a cheery warm disposition. while not making light of the current situation a gentle smile improves our face value and helps others to smile it is infectious.

A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.
Proverbs 17:22

A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
Proverbs 15:13

All the days of the afflicted are evil, But he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.
Proverbs 15:15

Peace and joy to all.
Mike

6 Likes

I am getting up early in the morning, reading devotions, and then driving to work while listening to Bible reading and RZIM podcasts. I pray a lot. Each evening we do family devotions and praying together. We are reading through Matthew. I also make sure to give my wife and son plenty of hugs!

3 Likes

Believers were never intended to be exempt from sorrow or difficulty in this world. We are, however, expected to be at peace because by faith we have been brought into an inseparable union with Jesus Christ and share his victory over sin and Satan.

Amen, Carson! Thanks for posting!

You know we have many resources now to reach out! I pray for divine appointments and revelation of places to cheer people and creative outreach ideas. There are so many challenges of tremendous variety right now. My sons (who rent an apartment together) just received a rent increase notice! And it’s no small amount! We are praying for wisdom about that…

Prayer! Praying for our amazing medical personnel, first responders, waste/garbage collectors, mail persons, POTUS and his staff, and everyone struggling to meet ends. Lots of opportunities through our local churches to give help with utilities and rent as people are struggling financially.

I’m a big texter, so we check in with our neighbors, family, friends, and various people all week.
I’m going to make a video for my church kids on making your own unleavened bread so they can help prepare things for in-house Easter, and I’m putting together seed packets with recipes to pop in the mail so they can start a herb garden while they’re going crazy at home.

I’m also planning Easter communion kits for home delivery. (Don’t worry, I’ll do a “dead drop” as they say in espionage language.)

A funny story: I was at the store last week and the only meat they had was brisket (OH NO!). Such a strange problem…no milk or eggs, but lots of brisket. So I smoked a couple of briskets and delivered hot meals around to some folks to encourage them.

It’s so pretty here right now. Spring is exploding and the wildflowers are popping everywhere, the birds are nesting and butterflies are about. God is reminding us that there is so much beauty in the midst of all this uncertainty and trial, and He is on His Throne!

8 Likes

Hi April! If only I could press the heart icon ten times for what you shared :grinning:. Your words are so full of Godly cheer to bring to people, both on your actions, your intentional consideration of others and your joy in Spring :slightly_smiling_face:.
I’m so inspired. We may not have brisket, but I’m pretty sure I could get the kids to bake something for the neighbours around us. I’m surrounded by people who generally don’t want for much financially. However, what might they be lacking in peace right now? In that respect, our family can be praying for the neighbours and sharing a bit of Gods love with them. And yes, the change in season reminds us of Matthew 6:26 - look at the birds, look at the flowers…God is the provider of food, security, clothing…and peace.

4 Likes

Hi friends,

I think listening to this rendition of It Is Well With My Soul will help give you “good cheer” right now:

5 Likes

Wow!! Thanks @CarsonWeitnauer this is indeed a nice rendition and it does cheer me up :slight_smile:

3 Likes

One thing that I practice during this Covid-19 situation is to look out and give thanks for the small things or events that is happening around i.e. daily activities and also within the family etc. I found that with this “active looking out” for something positive and being grateful and thankful for it, has somehow brought a change of perspective in this “doom and gloom” environment.

It also helped me to realize that we can find something good in every circumstances and situation :slight_smile: My wife and I are daily sharing these little things and giving thanks for them. This has definitely cheered us up daily as we shared with each other.

Philippians 4:8 (ESV)
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things”

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)
“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

4 Likes

You know how someone does a facebook live stream and there are all the likes and hearts floating up the screen? I feel like the Holy Spirit is constantly dropping people and situations into my mind like that to pray over. I am one who gets stymied in the best of times with “Oh God, there is too much to pray about, how can I choose who or what to pray for, maybe it’s not worth the effort.” Then He shows me and clears it up. Then I can drop them a text, email, or card in the mail. Only by His mercy and grace can I even think straight and concentrate. I am just being honest. It is calming to be able to go before His throne, even if I don’t have the right words, and just deliver my concerns into His huge hands. I try not to watch the news unless I need to, because it feeds the fear. I am an online tutor so I have daily contact with families all over the world. Focusing on others outside of myself helps me keep the focus off me. A Jewish mother of one of my students confided in me that she is not handling this well and hiding it from her kids. I offered to pray for her and she said Yes! That is an opportunity. To echo others here, I also look out for the small things and deliberately look for things to be thankful about. Knowing God is in control provides a peace I can’t describe. I am praying this current situation will open up opportunities to speak to family members who don’t believe in an afterlife and think this is all there is, so they despair. I am not an eloquent speaker, but I am willing to speak about my faith. I am so grateful for this ministry Ravi built and the intelligent, loving people who work tirelessly to help the believer think and the thinker believe! Perhaps I have rambled enough in the early morning hours here.

6 Likes

That is good that you have online students that you can be a blessing to! :smile:

4 Likes

April, your very name is “spring”. This is my favorite season! Besides the fact that I love gardening it is so refreshing to see the plants coming out of dormancy, watching the color increase, enjoying warmer weather, listening to the birds, all that after the winter dreariness. I was telling my family yesterday that I am thankful that this is happening at this time and not January when we hardly had good weather for being outside. Getting out into God’s beautiful creation really lifts the spirit and I know people are taking advantage of that. My husband told me he wondered how this pandemic will change things in society, and being home more and getting outdoors may definitely give people some different habits. I am sure your active spirit is a blessing to many! :smile:

Here are some of our happy spring bulbs in bloom. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:
image

5 Likes

Thank you, Alison, also for the Matthew 6:26 reference! His word is always in season, isn’t it? I love your idea of the kids baking for the neighbors! (Dead drop!) So many wonderful ways to let people know you love them and God does too.
You GO girl!

3 Likes

So beautiful! I love the picture! We seeded some poppies back in October, and they are popping! I’ll have to post a photo when they come into full swing. I was am SO excited because I’ve always wanted some. I increased the size of my veg garden a lot this year…I may be way over my head this time…
You said:

I was telling my family yesterday that I am thankful that this is happening at this time and not January when we hardly had good weather for being outside.

Agreed! I was thinking that too…January would be different. But right now we have opportunity to get outdoors and observe new life in the spring. And soon we will celebrate our risen Lord Who has already conquered sin, death and a broken world.

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true. ”He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. Revelation 21:5-7

5 Likes

Great Blessings :pray:
Thanks for your heart for others situations, so touching to see Practical Love God, in human development. Great Example :ok_hand:
How I wish All People can read for Encouragement and Edification.
“Good Cheer”. Million thanks :kissing_heart:
I see 2 main points in your Excellent advise,. No. 1… Logic in Politics or Government. No. 2–.“Good Samaritan”
Obedience to Authority is regular Teaching of the Lord,. However, our neighbors might seek for our personal point of view concerning the Government regulations.here Logic come into encouraging others to be good Citizens. Super fantastic :clap:
No. 2—“Good Samaritan”. “Good Cheering”. The World will be good and Interesting :heart_eyes:. Millions suffering, dying, sick, hungry, homeless, jobless, crying, pains and loney… still, many Rich Family friends and relatives don’t care?
Learn today from Gchop Family,. Make somebody happy today :+1:
Little “Good Cheers”. Can make a smile :blush:
Thanks for your understanding :blush:
1 John 4:7 & 8. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

.

3 Likes

@CarsonWeitnauer I know “It Is Well With My Soul” well. It is one of my favorite hymns. I used to sing it to my son at bedtime along with “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” every night.

3 Likes

Thank you for your encouragement Lawrence! I pray that many of us are able to make a difference in our communities. :heart::heart::heart:

3 Likes