Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes about spirituality as well as many other topics.
A story is told about a parakeet who sang all the time because it was cheerful. One day the owner was vacuuming out the bottom of the bird's cage. When the telephone rang, the woman turned away from the cage for only a second. That was just enough time for the parakeet to be sucked up into the vacuum. The good news is that when the owner quickly turned off the appliance and unzipped the bag, the parakeet was still alive. The bad news is that the parakeet didn't sing much anymore after that ordeal. The bird had lost its joy and its desire to sing.
When You Lose Your Joy
Too many of God's children have lost their joy and their desire to sing because of a bad day, a bad week, a bad month, or even a bad year. Perhaps you have been robbed of your joy and your desire to sing. The good news is that God wants to restore the joy you have lost and He can give you the desire to sing again, and it might be more powerful and melodious than before. How can that be?
God can put a new song in your heart that will be heard coming from your mouth. That can happen even though you have been knocked down, but know that you have not been knocked out. You might have lost your job, but Nehemiah 8:10 tells us, "Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." That means when we lose our joy, we also lose our strength. It is very difficult to be weak and joyful at the same time.
Joy: A Spiritual Force
Joy is a spiritual force and is evident in our lives when we overcome and have the victory when bad things happen to us. Jesus was well aware of joy being a spiritual force.
As disciples of Christ today, we should display joy as an example for others who are sad and sorrowful. We should use our strength to show them how life is worth living.
There is another story about a man named Fred who saw a man named Bob on a bridge getting ready to jump. Fred tried to stop Bob from jumping. So, Fred asked Bob, "What's going on in your life that makes you want to end your life?" The would-be jumper became to tell Fred all his problems and his perception of how bad the world has gotten to be. After Fred heard how bad the world was, he believed Bob. Then he took Bob's hand and said to him, "Move over! I will jump with you."
The moral of that story is that when you try to spread joy to others, make sure you have enough to share. Otherwise, you will end up in the same boat (or ocean) with Bob and Fred.
"Be of Good Cheer"
On many occasions, Jesus instructed His disciples and other followers to "Be of good cheer." Every time He saw that someone was sad, frightened, upset, or experiencing something negative in their lives, Jesus instructed them to "Be of good cheer." It was challenging for some of the people to be happy when it was more comfortable to be sad at those particular times. Since Jesus is the instrument of joy, people began to cheer up when Jesus spoke to them.
"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." Matthew 9:2
"But Jesus turning and seeing her said, Daughter, be of good cheer; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour." Matthew 9:22
"For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid." Mark 6:50
"And He said to her, Be of good cheer, daughter; thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace." Luke 8:48
"In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33
The word "cheer" means "to bring encouragement, to give courage to, to put in good spirits and to provide happiness or joy." That means we can cheer up and help other cheer up when we trust God and believe nothing is too hard for Him (Jeremiah 32:17).
Why God Wants Us To Be Of Good Cheer
Why does God care whether we are of good cheer or not? God wants us to be of good cheer because rejoicing is a demonstration of our faith in God. Being of good cheer shows that we believe God is who He says He is and believe His Word is true.
Christians should be the happiest people on earth because God has already given them victory. However, a lot of them are not happy. When people don't rejoice, Satan thinks he is winning. People should stand on the Word of God no matter what is going on in their lives. Then it becomes evident that they are winning because God is working things out on our behalf.
Brian from Kuala Lumpur Malaysia on May 26, 2021:
Thank you for being a good cheer yourself, Ms Margaret. This piece is a good reminder that we have a purpose as God's child to spread joy and His love around so more people can embrace His goodness.
Paul K Francis from east coast,USA on May 19, 2021:
A beautiful article. It will help me start the day in a more cheerful way. Thanks.