Saturday, July 5, 2008

Be Of Good Cheer

They had all seen him and were terrified. But at once he spoke with them, "Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!" (Mark 6:50).

The Bible encourages us all to 'be of good cheer/ take courage,' why is that verse so important that Jesus repeats it over and over?

It is repeated because through all the ages people are people. Frail, faulty, wounded, thoughtless and yet capable of great deeds and heroic acts, but still we are imperfect. Who then do we turn too in times of adversity?

The Holy Spirit is the Great Comforter of the afflicted, the wounded and the broken hearted. All are accepted into God's Heart. There is no litmus test for any of us in order to deserve God's Love. If there were a litmus test then who amongst us would be Saved?

How many times do we pray, 'Lord bring me closer to you,' but do we truly understand what we are saying? Are we not like John and James who requested to be seated at Jesus right and left hand, unkowing of the price for such an honour. Even more unknowingly Jesus tells them what they do not wish to hear, "whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all."

When we ask to become closer to Jesus we must understand that there is only one way and that Way is through The Cross. Why then when adversity strikes us do we balk at what is being asked of us. Is not God answering our prayer? Do we not gain our strength from the partaking of The Churches Sacraments?

Be careful of what you pray, lest you receive it.

Whenever adversity strikes us, whatever form it takes, be it through ill-health, betrayal or loss we must realise that God has already given us the strength to endure it. So endure it with a smile.

We fall into misery and bitterness when we are relying on our own strength. God does not give us misery, He gives us hope. God is our strength, He is our fortress against our greatest folly- the belief that we can go it alone. No we can't.

Trust in God's Goodness. Not your own.

The getting of wisdom is the understanding that in and of ourselves we are miserable, weak, frail creatures. We are needy. Noone is an island unto himself and if adversity strikes we become embittered, miserable a curse to ourselves and to others. We fall into self pity.

Wisdom is to understand the above and as illness makes us vulnerable, rather than close our hearts we open them to The Son's Love. Through God we radiate hope, perseverance, patience in the dreadful understanding that through our suffering we have become...Him to others.

Our Lord did not promise that adversity would not strike us, if anything He warns that if we follow Him we must pick up our Cross. How we carry our cross is our choice whether it be with a smile or a curse.

What do you choose?

"In this world ye shall have tribulations, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

Written by Marie