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Summary: A discussion of Jesus’ direction to believers to "Cheer Up" during tribulations.

Sermon by Pastor Robert Earl Houston, Sr., Assistant Pastor

Westwood Baptist Church, University Center

Nashville, Tennessee - www.westwoodbcuc.org

www.roberthouston.org

Text: John 16:33

33 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.

(KJV)

Subject: "The Worst and the Best is Yet to Come"

It would be easy to be pessimistic about life. The economy is

down. Social services are being cut. Major corporations are

falling apart at the seams. Technology is obsoleting many goods

overnight. We are in the midst of war. Families are in disarray.

The stock market is on a downward spiral. The Pledge of Alliance is

under scrutiny to remove the words "Under God." Even Martha Stewart

who once seemed invincible financially may lose it all.

I have come to suggest that things may get bad. And they may even

go from bad to worst. Just ask a band of untested disciples who

would eventually become hated, pursued, persecuted falsely

condemned, tortured – have at this point in the text really not seen

bad times compared to what lies ahead.

But for the believer in Jesus Christ – we can experience something

in the midst of our pain and sorrow that the World cannot dare

experience. We are special – because the World cannot claim this –

but believers can.

We can experience joy in the midst of any crisis. This answers a

lot of questions that you may have:

How can someone whose terminal lay in a hospital and

sing "Everything Will Be All Right?"

How can someone who’s going through the pain of divorce jump up and

shout "I Still Have Joy?"

How can someone who’s lost a loved one or a best friend holler

out "This Joy that I have the World didn’t give it and the world

can’t take it away?"

How can someone who’s hampered by financial conditions, walking

around with money funny, change strange, friends flaky, home

hellish, character corrupted, body broken, spirit soured,

friendships folded, arthritis attacked, dare to stand up and

say "This is my story, this is my song, I’m praising my savior, all

the day the long."

It is simply because God has enabled us to experience separation in

suffering. In other words, you can be in the midst of pain, but you

can derive joy in the midst of your pain. You can be physically

hurting, but you can still have joy in your soul. You can be

mentally exhausted, but still have peace of mind.

This is the tension of the text as we find Jesus and His disciples

completing a pre-Calvary orientation. Jesus knows that it will be a

few short days and he will be crucified. And in a few days they

will entomb his body. And three days later He will rise and will

sojourn for forty days. And then He will catch the Cloud Shuttle

and be restored to His rightful place in Glory and reunited with the

Glory that He recused himself from to be born of a virgin.

These Disciples have come out from the world to become the followers

of Jesus. They are now strangers to the World, because Jesus says

His kingdom is not of this world. They have left all to follow

Jesus.

The Book of John gives us a clear photo of his life: Chapters 1

through 12 shows us His public ministry; Chapters 13 through 17

shows us His private ministry with His Disciples before the Cross;

Chapters 18 and 19 presents to us the Cross; Chapters 20 and 21

shows us the Resurrection and Post-Resurrection ministry.

In Chapter 16, Christ is preparing His disciples for the Cross. He

knows that when He leaves from the Earth, they will be surrounded by

Satan’s world system. They will be left "in the World." This is a

fare-thee-well discourse.

But the World that Jesus refers to in this interrogative is not the

World in the Physical Sense. He is not talking about the rocks and

the trees, the waters and the skies, the seasons and the sun. No,

He is talking about a mean, cruel world that is controlled

spiritually by Satan. Remember Jesus tells us "you are IN THE WORLD

but not OF the world."

Let me take a moment to tell you that this is a cruel and mean

world. The old blues singer once wrote a line that talks about the

attraction of the world and this world order: "Bright Lights and

Big City gone to my baby’s head." The world system turns strong men

into addicted adults. The world system turns family structure into

separate ways. The world system makes a young girl look old and an

old woman tries to wear spandex and look young. The world system

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