Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Why we can be of good cheer (part 5)

This is the last of a series of posts on why we can be of good cheer... 

Next is the situation among the Nephites when the believers in Christ faced the prospect of being put to death by unbelievers if the sign of Christ’s birth was not given.  The prophet Nephi prayed in desperation and received this revelation:

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. (3 Nephi 1:13, emphasis added)

This is one of those special situations in which immediate change for the better is about to occur if they just hang in there.  It reminds us that the Lord still has the power to bring about sudden miracles when situations seem about as black as they can ever get.  The Lord can and will show to the world that He will fulfill all the prophecies spoken by the prophets.

Finally, consider the prospect of the Second Coming of Christ:

25 ¶And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
 26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
 27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
 28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 21:25-28, emphasis added)

Although the words "be of good cheer" are not used in these verses, the phrase "lift up your heads" seems like a pretty close equivalent.

When we see the calamitous signs of the Second Coming—the distress and destruction—we are told to “look up, and lift up [our] heads.”  This puzzled me for a long while because I really worried about how to survive in the middle of such terrible events as were promised.  (I have a pretty good imagination..) 

Eventually I realized that the increasing intensity of tumult should demonstrate to us how right the Savior was in His predictions.  He’s right, so He knows allllll about it. He knows how long to hold back because some may still choose to repent. The worse it gets, the closer the Savior’s coming is.

Now, this doesn’t mean that we relax and allow the world to go its decadent way without protest.  Rather, our responsibility is to be a light to the world and gather as much of Israel as will listen.

So, to review.  We can be of good cheer because:

15.  The signs will be given and the prophecies will be fulfilled
16.  The Second Coming is getting closer!

After studying all these times when the Lord (and leaders) tell someone “be of good cheer” and “lift up your heads,” it seems that these instructions are given during a difficult time when it seems that all is lost.  They are given to shake us out of our worries and despondency to show us things are about to get better and there is the prospect of good things to come.

We can be of good cheer because:
  1. The Lord is at work doing miracles in our lives.
  2. Jesus has overcome the world.
  3. Jesus will help us overcome the world.
  4. Tribulation is temporary.
  5. When we are forgiven, we are in good standing with the Lord.
  6. We still have time to act, repent, and prepare to meet God.
  7. We are free to choose and act for ourselves.
  8. Our work is not yet finished.
  9. Things will work out.
  10. Righteous people are praying for us.
  11. The Lord has not forsaken us.
  12. The Lord is in our midst.
  13. The Lord will lead us along.
  14. The kingdom, the blessings, and riches of eternity are ours.
  15. The signs will be given and the prophecies will be fulfilled.
  16. The Second Coming is getting closer!


Ramona Gordy said...

Thank you Michaela for these inspiring posts. I have been reading up on courage and I feel that to be of good cheer is to "have a good courage"
Deut31:16 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not,nor be afraid of them: for the Lord is thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
I heard a sermon once where the preacher was teaching about the "devices of Satan. He said that one of Satan's most potent weapons against us is dicouragement. It's like kryptonite to Superman. what can be done to quench this dart? Being of a good courage,being of good cheer and singing that new song that is in our hearts because of Christ.
Amen Sister