Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Take Courage


Matthew 9:2 Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”

Matthew 14:27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”

John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”


The Forgiveness of Sins

There is a lot of fear mongering in the world today.  We tend to fear things that we cannot do anything about. And some things that we should fear, don’t bother us at all.  I know that we need to fear some of the diseases that now are preventable, and we need to take vaccines for them.  Polio, whooping cough, and shingles are all diseases that I am convinced need to be taken seriously, and we need to take precautions against them.  I remember polio, I had a sister die of whooping cough, and I have personally felt the pain of a bad case of shingles.  Some people argue that the vaccines that prevent the disease is worse than the disease; but I assure you, with those three diseases, the vaccines are a blessing.  I am personally hoping for a general cure for all cancers before I am afflicted with that disease.


But there is another disease that we have all contracted in one form or another.  That disease is called sin.  That disease alienates us from God and often from family and friends.  That disease has a cure, but many people will not take advantage of the cure because they don’t see that they have the disease, or they don’t take the consequences of the disease seriously.  In Matthew 9 a man was paralyzed, and I am assuming that the paralysis was because of some sin that he had committed.  Perhaps he was drinking and driving.  Maybe he was angry and lost a fight.  But he was not like the man in John 9 who was blind from birth and had done nothing to cause his blindness.


This man who was paralyzed had friends who knew the solution and that solution was found in a man called the Lord Jesus.  They were so confident that this man could heal their friend, that according to Mark, they broke through a roof so that the Lord could see him and heal him.  The faith of the friends is what seems to be the important factor in bringing this man to the Lord, but the sins of the paralytic are the real problem.  But the Lord forgave his sins and released him from the consequences of those sins.  Naturally speaking the paralyzed man had “no hope.”  But the Lord told the paralyzed man, “Be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven.”


I am glad that the spiritual side of that message is available to all today.  If your sins are bothering you and if there have been practical problems resulting from your sins, there is a solution.  The Lord still has power on earth to forgive sins.  That statement is made in the account by Mark.  Sins cannot be forgiven after we die as some teach. But the Lord died, was buried and rose again so that our sins could be forgiven here on earth.  We may not have friends like this paralyzed man, but the Lord will forgive us.  And we can have our sin record wiped clean so we can have a home in heaven.  What a blessing.  If you have experienced the reconciliation that comes when we accept the Lord’s forgiveness of sins, praise the Lord!


The Storms of Life

Sometimes we are told that once we are forgiven (or saved or born again) that life will all be downhill, the roses will bloom without thorns and the wind will always be at our backs (and of course we will never have financial problems).  I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it simply does not work that way.  But when the storms come, so does the Lord.  In our passage above, the Lord came during a storm in the darkest part of the night (just before dawn).  The disciples thought he was a ghost; they were so upset. But the Lord assured them that it was He and not a ghost.  And He told them to not be afraid.  He told them to take courage.  Peter wanted proof that it was the Lord, so he got out of the boat and the Lord allowed it. However, that seems to be evidence of a lack of faith and apparently was a mistake.  But the Lord didn’t fail him.  He reached out and got Peter back into the boat.  And when the Lord got into the boat the wind ceased.  My Lord does not forsake us when the storms come nor when we do something so foolish as getting out of the boat when the boat is not sinking. Take courage, if your sins are forgiven, the Lord will never let you drown when the storms come.


The Trials caused by an Unbelieving Society

Once our sins are forgiven, we are different.  We are new creatures in Christ.  We are people that the world does not understand.  The world or the society that is presently being orchestrated by the Devil himself, will do its best to test our faith.  The world will try to prove that serving the Lord was a great mistake. The world will do its best to get us to act like the ungodly world in order to prove to unbelievers that we are not real.  A Christian has a target on his or her back. We could fear the enemy, but we shouldn’t.  We have the promise of the Lord that He has overcome the world.  The Devil has been defeated.  Lies may about in the world, but the Lord never lies.  So, when the temptations of the world come, we need to take courage, because the Lord has overcome (defeated) the world.  Short-term battles may appear to be lost, but the long-term war has been won.


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of March 1, 2020


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