After an evening of disappointment and loneliness turn anger, anxiety and fear, a box of Cheerios catches my eye on the kitchen counter. Still processing my emotions from the night prior, something within bides me to pay attention to that bright yellow box. Cheerios. A heart-shaped bowl filled with wholesome oats, milk and an adorning strawberries. What about that box? 
Cheerios. Cheer-ios. The Bible uses the word cheer. 
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 
(When Jesus' disciples were caught in a storm on the Sea of Galilee and Jesus walks on the water toward them in the boat:) For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. Mark 6:50 
(When Jesus was with his closest friends:) These things I (Jesus) 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 
(When Paul was on trial and the Jews made a plot to end his life:) 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 
(When Paul was on ship headed to Rome to stand trial for his faith he directed the ship crew in midst of a terrible storm:) "And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, saying, 'Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.' Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me...Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat. Acts 27:22-25, 36 
This greek word is a verb, an action that means to put in good spirits, gladden, make cheerful; to be joyful, be of good cheer, of good courage. The English Standard Version translates "be of good cheer" as take heart, take courage or encouraged.
What strikes me about these verses is they are commands or directions from the Lord. (Even if God speaks to others through Paul.) God the Father, Jesus the Son and God the Holy Spirit direct us to choose to be cheerful and they make cheer possible. God says to us in the Scriptures, "(My child,) in this world you will have troubles, but take heart, have good cheer, choose to be encouraged; I have overcome the world." In the morning, cheer is possible; He is present. In the darkness, cheer is possible; God is present.
Cheerios. The i-o-s resembles Theos, the Greek for God, the creator and sustainer of all things, the One who is with us. Theos is my maker and sustainer and shelter of my heart in all times, including the tough times; a place where my heart can cheer. 
Nothing else can give real, lasting cheer: not a paid off mortgage, not a relationship, NOTHING else. He is simply 100% Pure Righteousness, Faithfulness and goodness that cheers me. May I choose to only let Him fill my heart to the brim. And if other great gifts come along, they can be the adorning strawberries in my heart-shaped bowl.
How have you tried (and failed) to fill you heart-shaped bowl? Thank God for His ability to fill and satisfy you. He sustains you and He is with you. Choose cheer. 

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