Be of Good Cheer

Lou Lotz

Read: John 16:25-33

I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. (v. 33 RSV)

On June 21, 2002, the Lotz home was hit by lightning and burned to the ground. Losing your home and all your possessions has a disorienting effect. For weeks you walk around in a daze, reaching for things—books, clothing, photographs, tools—and then thinking, “Oh, that’s right, I don’t have that anymore.” It’s not unlike the trick that grief plays on you when someone dies, and for weeks and months you find yourself thinking, “Oh, wait till I call Mom and tell her what happened to me today,” and then realizing that Mom isn’t here anymore.

After the fire my wife, Mary, and I took to reminding one another, every morning, of that verse, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (v. 33 RSV). It had a stabilizing effect and gave us a sense of perspective. We even had it printed on a wooden sign, which we displayed over the fireplace in our new home. And there it sits to this day.

The fact that Christ has overcome the world doesn’t bring back your house if it has burned down. It doesn’t bring back your mom if she has died. Jesus’ victory doesn’t get you out of suffering; but it gets you through it. Christ has defeated the power of sin and death, and his victory is your victory. Be of good cheer! —Lou Lotz

As you pray, thank God that his victory is your victory.