“Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
– Jesus Christ (John 16:33 KJV)
The signature of the believer is to be of good cheer. There has been a longing in my heart that every Christian would be a cheerleader for God, for good and for the gospel of our Lord. Being a cheerleader has been my number one job all my life. It makes me happy to cheer others on and lighten their journey.
A leader is defined as someone who gets other people to do what they want them to do. A Christian leader gets other people to do what God wants them to do. Cheer has often been the way this leader has found the way forward.
The team is in a huddle,
The captain nods his head.
They all got together
And this is what they said:
You’ve got to go, team,
Go, team, go!
You’ve got to fight, team,
fight, team, fight!
You’ve got to win, team,
win, team, win!
Go! Fight! Let’s win!
This was one of my favourite cheers when I was a high-school cheerleader. We were told that cheering for our team was essential if we wanted them to win, so we cheered them on with gusto! It didn’t matter about the weather, the short skirts or the long hours of practice. We did it without thought for our own comfort. We did it because “the team” needed us. As we jumped, flipped, did our splits and screamed until our voices were hoarse, our enthusiasm was spurred on by the crowd’s appreciation as well as the team’s efforts.
God calls us to find our voice and lead by lending cheer to those in need
That was years ago. The Salvation Army is my team now. What an honour to be a cheerleader for the Army in today’s world. It has been my greatest joy in doing that throughout my ministry, especially cheering up those who needed encouragement along the way.
Finding Your Voice
What kind of cheerleader are you? Do you feel it necessary to “cheer” for our cause? Are you willing to go, fight and work in order to achieve the win?
In Ephesians 6:19-20, Paul writes, “Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” Here is the underlying reason behind our mission—we are ambassadors for Heaven. As the King’s representatives, we are to “cheer” for his work, his worth and his wonder.
Find your voice for God. Author Max Lucado said, “You are not a victim of your thoughts. You have a voice.” God calls us to find our voice and lead by lending cheer to those in need. We might think we can’t make a difference to the work of the Kingdom, but that is simply not true. God is depending on us. We cheer for the good, the beautiful and the true—for Jesus Christ our Lord. We are cheerleaders. We are his ambassadors. We are his cheerleading squad.
Cheering for Christ
God has chosen you for this cheerleading job. Think of the lost souls in need of his love. To paraphrase Romans 10:14, “How will they hear unless you cheer?”
As a teenage girl, I thought being chosen for the cheerleading squad in school was really something! Yet God chose us before the foundation of the world, and being part of his “squad” is for eternity. We can cheer loud and long because we know we’re on the right side and that our team is going to win.
Cheer loud and long for him. Work long hours, study his Word and get the “routines” just right so the crowd will believe in God’s message of love.
Sometimes we are called to cheer loud and long and sometimes we are called to cheer with no words at all. Yet still we must cheer so that the world will believe how great and wonderful our Lord is. And the more we spread our cheer, the more cheerful we become.
Try it! You’ll enjoy being God’s cheerleader.
Commissioner Marilyn D. Francis is Territorial President of Women’s Ministries for Canada and Bermuda. Her husband, Commissioner William W. Francis, is the Territorial Commander. Commissioner Marilyn Francis is an accomplished vocalist and pianist. She has produced an audio recording of vocal and keyboard improvisation of hymns and gospel songs titled Just a Closer Walk. Commissioners Francis have two adult children, Captain William Marshall and Susan Marjorie, plus six grandchildren.