I watched my grandson yesterday at his five-year-old birthday party, and he was excited. He had enough exhilaration for the whole family. Enthusiasm is contagious, you want to get on board when you see it. Enthusiasm is a strong excitement of feeling. We describe people who are serious about their work as people who do their job with enthusiasm. The kind of passion I am referring to embraces life itself—not from a selfish point of view but from the viewpoint of a disciple of Christ. Is it possible, however, to maintain an enthusiasm for your entire life? The answer is an emphatic yes!
The Bible is full of people who enthusiastically followed Christ no matter what the cost. Hebrews names many of them, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, they saw God shut the mouths of lions, quench the fury of the flames, rout entire armies. Many of these faithful men and women while refusing to allow their enthusiasm to wane were tortured, jeered and flogged. The writer says “the world was not worthy of them” (Hebrews 11:32-38).
How do we live this Christian life and maintain our enthusiasm for the Gospel while facing trials and tribulations like these heroes of the faith? The answer is the same way they did. They were committed to serving God no matter what the cost.
They were people who were genuinely enthused about a purpose bigger than themselves. They saw something beyond a self-focused life. This is an enthusiasm for Christ and the Gospel, and it is sustained over a lifetime. Nothing is more disappointing to an employer to see a new employee lose their energy for the job during their first month. Could this be how God feels when he sees our enthusiasm wane for the Great Commission? We are surrounded by people who are searching for something, but they don’t know what they are looking for. The longing for true spiritual satisfaction goes unfulfilled as people race about trying to find happiness in all the wrong places. Jesus is the only person who can satisfy our spiritual thirst.
We live in a culture of instant gratification where no one is willing to wait. The mentality is “I want my happiness now! People buy what they cannot pay for looking for recognition but only find the futility of worthless things. People jump into relationships without commitment wanting enduring love but only find momentary pleasure. The longing deep down inside is for something more—something greater. Jesus is what people long for but don’t know it. He said, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him” (John 7:37). That is true satisfaction!