By Rev. David Scudder, Bethel Chapel Church
We need some excitement in life because we have to do so many of the same things over and over again. I’m sure you will agree that daily routines are mostly boring—brushing your teeth, washing clothes, cooking meals, cleaning up the house, going to work, paying bills, etc. One thing that helps us to endure all those dull, repetitious, everyday tasks is to have something exciting to look forward to.
It’s possible to even feel much the same about our religious life. We might find ourselves enduring endless, tedious religious routines, and to be looking forward to being done with them so we can do something more enjoyable. That isn’t at all what God intended our worship of Him to be, but I’ll talk more about that later.
Regardless of what kind of monotony we are dealing with, anticipating something enjoyable helps to break up the boredom of our everyday lives. Looking forward to something exciting also tells us what is in our own hearts. What we mainly depend on for excitement reveals what we worship. British pastor Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) gives this insight: “Whatever a man depends upon, whatever rules his mind, whatever governs his affections, whatever is the chief object of his delight, is his god.”
What is it that makes life exciting for you? One way to find out what we are relying on for excitement (which could be an activity or a person) is to notice how we feel when it is taken away. Think back to your latest discouragement. Was it caused by losing something your life had become centered around? Wouldn’t it be great if we had an excitement that would continue in spite of life’s dull routines or even life’s hurtful disappointments?
This is where the really good news comes in. Pastor Charles Spurgeon pointed to it beautifully when he said,
“To rejoice in comforts is dangerous,
to rejoice in self is foolish,
to rejoice in sin is fatal, but
to rejoice in God is heavenly.”
Did you know that God wants us to find joy and excitement in Him? That may be a new thought for many, but God does invite us to experience great joy in Him. Here are some examples:
“Be glad in the LORD and rejoice you righteous ones; and shout for joy….” (Psalm 32:11). “Sing for joy in the LORD, O you righteous ones; Praise is becoming to the upright” (Psalm 33:1). “Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant and praise is becoming” (Psalm 147:1).
Can you see in these verses what I’ve found to be true in my life? God Himself is a great reservoir of joy and excitement.
How do we access that joy? We must first see how lost and hopeless we are without God’s saving work. We will never find joy in God if we think we are so good we don’t really need Him. The truth is that “the righteousness of God [comes] through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified [declared right before God] as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:22–24).
When we turn from our own way and follow Jesus, we realize that He paid a great price in order to rescue us from the penalty of our sin. That fills our hearts with joy! He has done for us what we could never do for ourselves. That is why there is so much excitement around God’s throne in heaven.
Notice what those gathered in heaven are singing to Jesus: “…Worthy are You … for You were slain and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9). That truth should also motivate us to join His followers so we can someday share the excitement of heaven. They are, “saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.’ And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, ‘To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever’” (Revelation 5:12–13).
Because he experienced the Lord’s grace and forgiveness, Paul was motivated to rejoice even when he was stuck in a Roman dungeon cell. He wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4).
You too can have an excitement to look forward that will never go away. “How blessed [i.e. happy] is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered!” (Psalm 32:1). Come to Jesus! If I can answer any questions or help you make that step, pleases contact me by email at DaveBethel@gmail.com.
Bethel Chapel Church is located at the corner of K & Lycoming Streets in Juniata. Website: www.BethelChapelChurch.com