The receiver stretches and reaches the goal-line. The referee raises his arms straight up. “Touchdown!” Everyone on the team leaps in the air for joy. Oh, but wait. The play must be reviewed. In seconds, excitement evaporates. Adrenaline dissolves.
It’s not all that hard to get excited when your football team scores a touchdown, your ball-team hits a homerun, or your basketball team sinks a 3-pointer in the final second of a tie ballgame. It’s not a struggle to celebrate with like-minded enthusiasts. They are loyalists– loyal to their team–just like you.
Yet, it makes me wonder. Every time I see the celebration, the frivolity, the joy, I muse. Why do Christians exhibit so little joy when their Savior is praised in Sunday worship? Shouldn’t we be just as excited, and happy, as thrilled when we see a lost person come to Jesus? When we hear a soloist sing a powerful song of praise extolling the amazing grace we have in Jesus, why do we know raised our hands in praise and joy; our sins are washed away! We have victory in Jesus! We’ve overcome the world through Him! Are we not on His team?
“The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song.” Psalm 28:7
I thought I was going to come apart last week when a soloist sang of God’s amazing grace and how He’d covered his sin and forgave him despite his rebellion. My mind jumped up and down with joy! God so loves us. He’s won the war with Satan. He’s overcome the world. He’s wiped out death. He forgives my sin. His grace is abundant! I get to spend an eternity in His glory and presence! Then, I shared that joy outloud. I clapped my hands and said, “Amen! Amen! Praise God!” Another lady in front of me turned to see me. She clapped her hands, in a moment, she wiped tears from her eyes. She knew. She grasped the import of the praise and glory due the LORD. Our hearts joined in exultation, as most sat in ho-hum silence. How do we sit silent during a clarion call to praise to His holy name?
Oh, I know we all have problems. I know there are difficulties in lives I am unaware of. I know that some people just are not emotionally demonstrative. Yet, I am not talking emotion. I am talking knowingly giving God glory for what He is and what He’s done, and what He’s doing in our lives.
Fans leap to conclusions with enthusiasm at the prospect of a silly score, yet barely crack a smile when they know, without a doubt, the conclusion of our mighty God. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to sit on the sidelines waiting for the referee to review my faith. I don’t want to sit idly by and walk out of the stadium the same way I came in. I want to leap for joy! After all, “leaping to conclusions” is a sure thing…when it comes to Jesus.