The New Testament uses two different words that are translated into English as cheer.” One, from the root euthumeo, is found in the 27th chapter of Acts. It means to be merry or to cheer up. Luke uses this word to describe Paul’s exhortation of hope to the sailors and others on board a storm-tossed ship en route to Rome.
The other, from the root tharseo, is recorded five times, either as spoken by the Lord Jesus himself, or by his disciples to others who were about to experience his touch. The word bears the connotation of taking comfort, or having courage. Those five admonitions to “be of good cheer,” meaning to take courage and comfort, are based on what we already possess or have the potential of possessing in Christ. Taken as a guide for the Christian life, they provide a source of strength, comfort and encouragement to every believer today.
The Encouragement of Forgiveness
“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).
The Encouragement of Healing
“But Jesus turned about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee well…” (Matthew 9:22, see also Luke 8:48).
“And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort; rise, he calleth thee” (Mark 10:49).
The Encouragement of His Presence
“But straightway Jesus spoke unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid” (Matthew 14:27).
The Encouragement of Victory
“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).
The Encouragement of Service
“And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul; for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome” (Acts 23:11).