A Unique Opportunity
Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Hebrews 13:15
At the turn of this New Year, my beloved bride and I were gifted tickets to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA, and not just any old tickets— we were given 48 yard line, 18 rows up seats! Praise Jesus! Truth be told, however, I am not a big follower of college football. I do enjoy a good football game, but during any given season, I will watch maybe 4-5 games. However, if you know anything about this years game, it didn’t matter if you were a fan or not— the game was incredible! Double overtime, neck and neck all the way to the end… and the energy in that stadium was unlike anything I’ve bore witness to in my life. Thankfully, we were rooting for the winning team (Georgia) and all through out the greater Los Angeles area the sounds of triumph and victory and praise ran through the streets. We even drove about an hour out of the area, after the game to get food, only to find that the celebrations hadn’t ceased.
In that arena there in southern California, those of us rooting for the Georgia Bulldogs found it easy to rejoice. Our team had found victory over a worthy adversary and proceeded on towards the championship game. Unfortunately, those rooting for the Oklahoma Sooners had a very different response. While I did witness many, many fans express great sportsmanship, an equal number of those expressed their lament and disappointment. As we were driving home (yes, we drove home that night) I began reflecting on my own personal praise to the Father. In times when things have been good (bills paid, cars running well, family healthy, etc) praise almost seems effortless. In contrast, when my team is “losing” or there seems to be a great unravelled at the seams, if I’m honest, one of the last things to enter my realm of thought is worship of a worthy King. Yet despite our present circumstances, our trials and testings, Jesus remains worthy of our praise.
In fact, we are presented with a unique opportunity this side of eternity. The bible speaks of heaven as being rid of strife, ailments, hurt, despair (amen to all that!). In a way, we can say that we will forever enjoy the celebration of our eternal victory through Jesus, whereby He conquered sin and death. However, on this side of eternity, we have and continue to share in antithesis of the afore mentioned. Hurts, needs, distress, are all common experiences to both those who profess Christ as King and those who do not. The opportunity I speak of, then, is that of offering a sacrifice of praise to God; the ability to sing and shout and proclaim and declare His goodness when our present circumstance does itself not freely give way to rejoicing. I believe that we will not have such an opportunity in heaven in the literal presence of the Almighty and, thus, resulting in our ability to cease the moment and choose praise, simply because…. HE IS WORTHY OF IT.
My prayer for us all is that as we personally pursue seeing wonder restored within our own lives and the lives of those around us, may we all be given eyes to see, ears to hear, and heart to know the awe-inspiring, wonder-working nature of our God and from that place, may we choose to give Him the praise and worship that is eternally due His name.