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Be of Good Cheer

by A. C. Gaebelein (1861-1945)

Arno C. Gaebelein"Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid" (Matthew 14:27).

"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).

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).

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

"Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am" (John 17:24).

"Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world " (Matthew 28:20).

"He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5).

"Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death" (Rev. 1:17,18).

"Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown" (Rev. 3:11).

"Surely I come quickly. Amen" (Rev. 22:20).

These precious words of comfort and cheer came from His loving heart and lips. May we take hold of them. How well it is to remember His words and Himself. How worthy He is; the mighty, the loving, the adorable Lord! How He loveth us His own, how He careth for us, is mindful of us and carrieth us, no heart can fully understand, no pen describe. How He came from heaven's glory long ago, how He the One, who was rich, became poor for our sakes and died on the cross, that we might share eternal riches and glory with Him, is the old story, which never grows old. It is as fresh and new to the believing heart as it ever has been. And He who bought us with His own blood, loveth and carrieth us His poor, weak and sinning people with such love and infinite patience.

The past years of our Christian lives, so all of us must confess, have been filled with many failures. But as we come to Him with our failures, our sins, our burdens, we find Him the same loving, tender Saviour. Ah! who can measure the depths of His love! He will never cease loving those who have accepted him as their Saviour and whom He has accepted as His own. In His gracious hands we are, and all His people. The hands which were pierced for us on the cross are over us and about us. They carry us, guide us, hold us and keep us. We are His and nothing can separate us from Him in time and in eternity. With a joyful heart we can say "I am my Beloved's and His desire is toward me."

O Lord! 'tis sweet the thought
  That Thou art mine!
But brighter still the joy
  That I am Thine.

Oh, dear Christian readers, how happy we might be if only all this were constantly real to our hearts and our minds were occupied with that blessed, glorious One. What joy and blessing we will have, if we walk closer with the Lord and live that life to which we have been called, live by the faith of the Son of God.

And the words He left us are just like Himself, Love, Hope and Comfort. There is nothing to fear for one who is in Him. He would have His beloved people free from all fear, anxiety and care. Twice He has told us "Let not your heart be troubled." "Fear not!" "Be not afraid!" How much these words mean if we consider Him who spoke them. They must calm every fear and lift the trusting child of God over all the dark and difficult things on the way. The blessed words we have quoted are the never failing comfort for His people till they are gathered in His own presence.

The greatest anodyne, however, He has given to us, the anodyne for all pains and sorrows, grief's and perplexities is the blessed Hope. "I will come again and receive you unto myself" was spoken long ago, and yet it is still unfulfilled. Almost the last petition of His great high-priestly prayer is the petition to have His own with Himself in the Father's house. "Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am." This prayer is still unanswered. "Behold I come quickly" are His own words in the third chapter of Revelation, words so full of meaning for us, exhorting us to hold fast what we have. And in the very end of the Book, almost the last word of the Bible is the last word He ever spoke. "Surely I come quickly. Amen."

He has not spoken again after this last utterance, so full of assurance. The next time His blessed voice will speak will be when He comes into the air and gives the mighty shout (1 Thess. 4:16) which will call the saints from their graves and ourselves from earth's sorrow together with them to meet Him in the air. That blessed Hope is the great anodyne, the soothing as well as inspiring truth of the Bible, which stands next to and in closest relation with the Gospel. That blessed Hope is an imminent Hope. How cheerless it would be to think that the Lord cannot come for many years, that He cannot fulfill His blessed promise. How cheerless, yea, how depressing and discouraging it would be if it were true that the true believers must pass through the great tribulation, suffer under Antichrist, taste of the wrath, which will then be poured out. Such an expectation would not be a blessed Hope, but a depressing outlook. But blessed be God this is not the teaching of the Word, but only the invention of man. We are not to wait for the apostasy, the great tribulation, great earthquakes and disasters, but for Himself. He may come at any time and call us into His presence. To wait daily for Him is the true Christian attitude, which is a mighty power in the Christian life, walk and service. How we shall be weaned away from the passing things of this age, how we shall look upon all in its true light and be faithful witnesses for our Lord, if we walk in this daily expectation of meeting Him.

And this we need. The Lord Jesus Christ must become more real to our hearts. Our fellowship with Him, our trust in Him, our walk in Him, our waiting for Him, all must become more real. The Holy Spirit in His power will accomplish this in our lives. In the awful darkness, which is settling upon this age, only such can abide faithful who cling closer to the Lord and who wait for His coming. The Lord grant this to all His people.

  He'll come again,
  And prove our hope not vain;
We wait the moment, oh, so fair;
To rise and meet Him in the air;
His heart, His home, His throne to share
  O wondrous love!

From The Lord of Glory... by A. C. Gaebelein. New York: Publication Office "Our Hope", ©1910.

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