BE OF GOOD CHEER – by Paul M Hanssen
Words without definition are powerless. A word in and of itself carries no punch, no meaning, and has no effect without knowing its definition. But words that are defined are powerful. For example, If I did not know the definition of love, it wouldn’t mean anything to me every time my wife tells me that she loves me. But since I know the definition and meaning of the word love it carries a powerful impact on me to hear those words spoken into my ears. Words carry awesome power, but only by definition.
There is a word used solely by Jesus in the Gospels that carries tremendous weight by definition. It is a word that we need to hear and understand today while the world faces such an intense pandemic that has already affected hundreds of millions of people’s lives and killed, to date, 150,000 people worldwide. These are perilous times no doubt. We are living in the season of the beginning of sorrows. On one side, God has called His people to a time of intense soul searching and repentance. On the broader scale, I am not so sure that mission has yet been accomplished. But, this peril is not over yet and more perils and times of sorrows will follow. God will accomplish His purpose and He will not stop until He has.
However, God’s people should not live in fear. Jesus used a word that no one else in recorded scripture used (apart from one time when it was used by His disciples, and directly related to Jesus- Mark 10:49). As a matter of fact, Jesus’ use of this word is recorded seven times in the Bible. It is the word, as recorded in the Greek, THARSEO. Tharseo means to be of good cheer, to be of good comfort, and to be encouraged!
Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. (Matthew 9:2)
Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. (Matthew 9:22)
Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. (Matthew 14:27)
Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. (Mark 6:50)
Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace. (Luke 8:48)
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)
And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: (Acts 23:11)
Each and every time Jesus said “be of good cheer” He was talking into diverse, difficult, perilous, and adverse situations and circumstances. He was talking into times of fear, uncertainty and calamity.
Clearly, some of the examples of Jesus using this word are repeated in the Gospels. However, the fact that THARSEO is recorded by the Spirit seven times in scripture as a word that was spoken by Jesus, is significant. Seven is the number which has to do with completion. Seven has to do with something that is full, has come to an end, and finished. Seven times the message is passed on to us to be encouraged and to “cheer up” in the midst of suffering and difficult situations. Why? Because He is there! Because He has the power to finish and accomplish His purpose. Because He has overcome, therefore I can overcome. Because in the midst of the storm, He has not left us alone!
So, CHEER UP, be comforted and be encouraged! That’s the definition of Tharseo. Jesus wishes to accomplish, finish, perfect, and fulfill His will and purpose in all of our lives in and through the midst of all things. May this season of adversity accomplish in us that which He has ordained. As we find ourselves on our knees, like the woman with the issue of blood, reaching out to Him who has the virtue to save, deliver, redeem, and set free, may we to hear the words that Jesus spoke to her, BE OF GOOD CHEER, THY FAITH HAS MADE THEE WHOLE.