A few weeks ago, in my personal scripture study time, I decided to look up the word “cheer” in the topical guide and read all of the scriptures I found there. I was interested to discover that many of the verses that include the phrase “be of good cheer” also include a reason to do so. Since one of my resolutions for this year is to “be of good cheer” more, I decided to record these reasons here on my blog.
(Note: the reason to “be of good cheer” is in bold, and also provides a link to the scripture at lds.org. If you hover over the link, you will see the exact verses I am quoting.)
1. “And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.”
2. “But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; It is I; be not afraid.
3. “And now, verily I say unto you, and what I say unto one I say unto all, be of good cheer, little children; for I am in your midst and I have not forsaken you; And inasmuch as you have humbled yourselves before me, the blessings of the kingdom are yours.”
4. “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.
5. Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you; And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, “be of good cheer, for I will lead you along.” The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours. And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.
6. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
7. And now, my beloved brethren, seeing that our merciful God has given us so great knowledge concerning these things, let us remember him, and lay aside our sins, and not hang down our heads, for we are not cast off; nevertheless, we have been driven out of the land of our inheritance; but we have been led to a better land . . . . For behold, the Lord God has led away from time to time from the house of Israel, according to his will and pleasure. And now behold, the Lord remembereth all them who have been broken off, wherefore he remembereth us also. Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves – to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.
8. Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets. Behold, I come unto my own, to fulfil all things which I have made known unto the children of men from the foundation of the world. . . .
One thing that I noticed, (and maybe you noticed too) is that every time a reason to “be of good cheer” is given in the scriptures, that reason centers on the Savior. The fact that He lives and that He fulfilled His mission on earth. The fact that He knows each one of us individually, and understands us better than anyone else. The fact that He cares about how we feel and what we are experiencing in life, and knows how to help us in every situation. And the fact that He made it possible for us to live with Him and our Heavenly Father again in the next life! What we really need in order to “be of good cheer” is faith in the Savior.
I experienced this a little bit this week. I had a problem to solve that normally causes me a lot of anxiety. But this time, although I did feel a some anxiety about it, I was able to keep those feelings under control. Instead of complaining, I prayed and expressed confidence that the Lord would help me know what I should do. I think this was a good step for me. While I wasn’t super smiley, I wasn’t upset either. Maybe next time I can even do a little better, and show more optimism and confidence in a similar situation. I think remembering that the Lord is there to “lead me along” (see #5 above) is key.
I love this quote that I read in the Ensign.
“Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us.
“My beloved brothers and sister, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.”