Jesus said many times “be of good cheer.” Years later the Apostle Paul would say the same. Paul was in a bad storm and an angel stood by him and said “be of good cheer.” It’s easy to be discouraged, easy to be defeated by the forces of evil and darkness, but the same Savior speaks to us and says “be of good cheer,”
Acts 27:20 And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away. 21 But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. 22 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship. 23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, 24 Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. 25 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.
The ability of the human body is amazing. Our face reflects how we feel. Others can tell it by the look on our face. The Bible says God’s countenance shines down on man. He wants to encourage us. The disciples were with Jesus day and night yet they were told to be of good cheer. If disciples needed it, even when they were physically with Jesus, we need it as we walk by faith. The devil wants to defeat and discourage. When Jesus left earth he sent the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to help us. He is with every child of God to deliver and encourage. Jesus said he’ll be with us to the end of the world. How? It’s through the Holy Spirit. God is a triune God; the three are one. I can’t really explain that; we just have to believe it.
According to this portion of scripture this was not a small tempest that came upon the ship Paul was in. For many days the sun and stars didn’t shine. This meant the mariners couldn’t chart their course. Celestial navigation was used in those days. Unlike the captain of that ship, remember that with Jesus as Captain no storm can block him. That’s why he can say “be of good cheer.” All their hope was taken because they couldn’t chart their course. We don’t chart our own course. The way is Jesus, so let him be your Captain. Don’t lose hope in Jesus. He’s never let us down. We can’t blame him for a thing but we can thank him for everything.
Paul told the men they should have listened to him and stayed in Crete instead of sailing. They thought smooth seas were ahead, but storms come quickly sometimes and without much warning. Even forecasters today don’t always get it right. We need to stop trusting in knowledge and high tech equipment and trust the Lord. This group was in a pickle. Paul’s advice wasn’t to give up and behave every man for himself. The ship of Zion is sturdy and not going down.
Paul told them to be of good cheer. Even when we can’t see we can still believe. All of what is before us has been won. Jesus doesn’t have a hard time helping us. Sometimes we make it hard by what we do. Paul told them For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Remember who you belong to and who you serve. Choose to believe God. In verse 31 Paul told them Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved. You have to stay in the ship. Don’t give in to the devil. In verse 25 Paul told them be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. It shall be. The Word of God tells us many times to be of good cheer. He said let not your heart be troubled. Believe God with all your heart. That’s the A to Z of it all–believe God.
The face is important for many things. We can use it to frown and prune up. We can use it to be proud and haughty. BUT we can use it to be happy and smile being a witness for God’s glory. Shine your light in this world.
These people needed something and God used Paul to send good cheer. They all made it to the destination. Verse 44 says And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land. We’ll make it too.