In his book “The Insanity of God” Nik Ripken gives the account of a Muslim-background woman who had been working in the refugee camps between two Asian countries as a women’s advocate. She represented women who had been raped by members of the Taliban, and was working to hold them accountable in the International Courts of the U.N. For her own safety, she was eventually transported from the refugee camps to America.
She visited with the Ripkens for a week, and when they went to church on Sunday, they watched an entire family being baptized.
As they watched, the young lady asked Nik “Why aren’t these people standing? Why aren’t they jumping and shouting and clapping for such a miracle from God?” Finding Jesus Christ is a big deal! Why don’t we act like it??
“In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15)
Imagine this: A great, expansive arena, filled with angels and those Believers who have gone on from this world to that, all watching the world below with a yearning expectation.
Suddenly, someone shouts “There’s another one!!”
And there erupts across Heaven shouts of praise that roars and echos from one end of the universe to the other, reverberating with the praise of witnessing Jesus redeeming another lost soul, adding them to the Citizenship of Heaven and adopting them into the Eternal Family of the Children of God. It’s a very big deal.
Every time we are privileged to see such an event in our church we should be up and shouting and stomping our feet and clapping our hands and making a joyful noise unto the Lord for His miraculous gift of forgiveness, mercy and redemption.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews chapter 12)
Fix your eyes on Christ; live so that others see Him in you; act in a way that others desire your faith and commitment; share the reason for your peace and steadfastness in a world filled with chaos and uncertainty. Do not grow weary or lose heart in doing so.
The joy set before us by Jesus is worth all the trials we face in this life.