1. BEFORE leaving His disciples, what did Jesus say to them?
“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.” John 16:33.
2. What were some of the cheering words He said to them?
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1-3.
3. In what spirit should we serve the Lord?
“Serve the Lord with gladness: come before His presence with singing.” Ps. 100:2.
4. What is sown for the upright in heart?
“Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.” Ps. 97:11.
5. What effect has a merry heart?
“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Prov. 17:22.
NOTE.-From this we may learn the influence which the mind has over the body. Cheerfulness is conducive to life and health; sorrow, care, anxiety, and worry tend to disease and death.
6. What effect do helpful, cheerful words have upon the heart?
“Heaviness in the heart of’ man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.” Prov. 12:25.
7. By what temporal blessings does God fill men’s hearts with gladness?
“Nevertheless He left not Himself without witness, in that He did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” Acts 14:17.
8. Why and for what may every child, of God rejoice?
“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness.” Isa. 61:10.
9. Against what are Christians warned?
“Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.” 1 Cor. 10:10.
NOTES.-“There are those who take to gloom as a bat to darkness or as a vulture to carrion. They would rather nurse a misery than cherish a joy. They always find the dark side of everything, if there is a dark side to be found. They appear to be conscientious grumblers, as if it were their duty to extract some essence of misery from every circumstance. . . . On the other hand, there are rare spirits who always take cheerful views of life. They look at the bright side. They find some joy and beauty everywhere. . . . In the most faulty picture they see some bit of beauty which charms them. In the most disagreeable person they discover some kindly trait or some bud of promise. In the most disheartening circumstances they find something for which to be thankful, some gleam of cheer breaking through the thick gloom. . . . When a ray of sunlight streamed through a crack in the shutter and made a bright patch on the floor in the darkened room, the little dog rose from his dark corner and went and lay down in the one sunny spot; and these people live in the same philosophical way. If there is one beam of cheer or hope anywhere in their lot, they will find it. . . . We have no right to project the gloom of our discontent over any other life. Our ministry is to be ever toward joy. There is nothing so depressing in its effects upon others as morbidness. . . . Discontent helps nothing. . . . One never feels better for complaining.”- “Week-Day Religion,” by J. R. Miller, D. D., pages 236-241.
“How many people,” says Jeremy Taylor, “are busy in the world gathering together a handful of thorns to sit upon.”
“As a little girl was eating, the sun dashed upon her spoon, and she cried, ‘O mama, I have swallowed a spoonful of sunshine!’ Would God that we all might indulge in the same beverage!”- Talmage’s “One Thousand Gems,” page 56.
10. Even when persecuted, what are we told to do, and why?
“Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven.” Luke 6:22,23.
11. When beaten by the Jewish rulers for preaching Christ, what did the apostles do?
“And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.” Acts 5:41.
12. After receiving “many stripes,” with their feet made fast in the stocks, what did Paul and Silas do while in prison?
“And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.” Acts 16:25.
13. What assurance is given that the child of God may bravely endure every trial and hardship of life?
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Rom. 8:28.
14. How constant should our rejoicing be?
“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” Phil. 4:4.
NOTE.-“Good cheer is the hall-mark of a brave and healthy soul. To give way to gloomy thoughts, otherwise the ‘blues,’ is a sign of weakness. This isn’t asserting that no one but weaklings is attacked by the blues; but it is one thing to be attacked and another to rout the disturber. And that is what the brave soul does. There may be a very real and tangible reason why the heart faints and halts, for life is serious, and the world full of unexpected trials; but to sit and brood over a trouble only makes it look larger and larger until it finally obscures the horizon line, and darkness descends upon the soul. Wherefore, the thing to do is to cast aside all thoughts of worry for a moment,-just say to yourself, It is only for a moment,- and when you return to it again you will be surprised to find it has lessened in size and importance.”- The New World.
WHEN things don’t go to suit you,
And the world seems upside down,
Don’t waste your time in fretting,
But drive away that frown;
Since life is oft perplexing,
‘Tis much the wisest plan
To bear all trials bravely,
And smile whene’er you can.