“Be of good cheer!”

As 2022 draws to a close, we will be looking at one final “guideline for a fruitful Christian Walk” from the Word of God – to be of good cheer! Jesus said this to His disciples as He warned them that they won’t always have it easy in the world, but that He has already overcome the world! What an amazing promise to cling to in dark times.

Let’s hear from the Voice in the City Europe Team what their reasons are for being of good cheer, especially around the festive season.

The angels sang “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14 NKJV) but when we look at this world there is very little to be joyful about . Wars are destroying lives, Europe is dipping into recession, earthquakes and floods are rampant in the nations and the predictions of food shortage and financial crisis next year fill the newspapers!

What is there to be joyful about?

The Bible answers that question clearly. “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord,” (Luke 2:11 AMP) and because He came, died and rose from the dead we have reason to rejoice! He has already overcome this world!

I am joyful this Christmas season as I review the year 2022. I can testify according to Ephesians 3:20 and say God, once again, has done exceedingly, abundantly above all we could ever think or ask!

To me this season is a season of joy, because a Saviour was born and I know Him as the Lord of my life!  That is our peace and goodwill on earth – our hope, faith and deep confidence.  Indeed, Jesus is the reason for the season and in this season I pray like Mary,  “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour!”  (Luke 1: 46 – 47).

We often hear the words “Be of Good Cheer” around Christmas, but for many people this is a time they dread because of circumstances or having to spend Christmas with the grief and sorrow of losing someone.  Does “be of good cheer” mean that I should simply forget my situation and pretend that my pain and difficulty do not matter?

No, absolutely not!

However, as believers we can live in the goodness and the peace of the Lord despite circumstances. It does require us to refocus our attention from our loss or difficulty to the Lord, who knows our pain and situation but who also invites us to lay our burdens down. When we do this, we allow the Holy Spirit to minister and encourage us in our time of difficulty and therefore can take on the demeaner of “cheer” rather than “sadness.”

I would encourage you in this time – Let us worship the Lord, lay our burdens down and allow the “good cheer” of the Holy Spirit to minister to us, encourage us and help us in this time.

Rev. Gayle Claxton

Every year when December strikes, I remind myself to think back on the state the world was in when Jesus was born so many years ago. God’s people have been waiting for their Messiah to come for over 400 years. During that time God didn’t speak to them. The silence must have been challenging, but their hope was alive! It was a long, long wait…

The joy they must have experienced when they knew the waiting was over! The blissful sighs of relief as they finally saw the prophecy fulfilled. Joy to the world, the Lord (finally) has come!

We don’t have to wait any longer. As God’s people we can simply rest in the glory and peace of our Saviour who has already come! There is not greater reason to be of good cheer!

Elana Shaw

Christmas is not only a wonderful time with my family, presents under a tree and hot chocolate, but I think about the poor and needy in our society. There are so many who have no family, no friends and not even a warm dinner. For them Christmas is probably the loneliest time of the year and I am reminded that God sent his only Son into this world as It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. Jesus has not come to call the righteous, but sinners. (Mark 2:17)

I am reminded about God´s grace and heart for the lost and it is a joy for me to give something back to the needy that will make their Christmas more beautiful. To see their faces light up and smile is what is making this season so special.

Benjamin Fech

Christmas time is especially a cheerful time for me as we have extended times with our family and friends over meals, outings, meetings etc, as we together firstly remember the coming of Jesus to this world.

These times include community carols where all are invited to hear the Gospel and sing carols together outside on grass in a football field in Alice Springs in Central Australia.

We also enjoy a Christmas day meal, where we share not only with family but with others – especially those who have no family around to celebrate with. 

Stephen Lewin

Christmas is centred around the gift that God gave to us in His Son, Jesus – the greatest gift that I could ever receive. 

I love the Christmas season and the chance it brings to create special memories with my family and friends, especially our gingerbread house creations and the other fun activities we do.

The real joy, however, comes in celebrating the birth of my Saviour, worshipping Him and remembering the real reason we celebrate. 

Jackie Eames

It means so much to me that we can praise and glorify our Lord Jesus Christ and celebrate His coming to our earth!

He, who was God.

He, who made Himself of no reputation.

He, who took the nature of a servant and came in the likeness of men to this world.

He, who humbled Himself and became obedient even to the point of death…

(Philippians 2:6-8)

How big is His love!

Heike Staiger

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”

Yes. For me, it really is the most beautiful time of the year! Because I can remember what God has done for me, for us!

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 NIV

He gave up everything He had! His comfort, power and heavenly kingdom to become a simple man and teach us what it really means to love each other and to truly live for the Kingdom of God!

He made a way where there was no way! Our Prince of Peace came down to earth for me and for you! And because of that I can have a relationship with the King! I can look at Him face to face and know that I’m a child of God!

For me, Christmas means hope! Hope for salvation, hope for better days, an eternal hope for every circumstance!

Samara Föhlisch