Monday, September 14, 2009

Just a Game

I watched an NFL football game last night. I probably shouldn’t have, considering how I felt at the end of the game. I forgot that the key word there is “game.” It is only a game. Yet because of the way the team I was rooting for played and because of the outcome of the game, I was not reacting to a “game.”

I was angry. I was frustrated. I was in a bad mood. “My” team lost. They played poorly. There were several key injuries that will significantly impact the rest of the season.

But again, it is a game. In the greater scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter to my future here on earth if “my” team wins or loses. It certainly doesn’t matter to my eternal life.

And that is something I need to remember right now. I guess in a way I’m playing “Monday morning quarterback” about my faith and the greater scheme of things.

Games are supposed to be fun. Of course, it is a lot more fun to win than to lose, but still, it’s a game! Enjoy it as a form of recreation and entertainment. It should bring joy. I want to feel joy. And God wants us to be joyful as well. God talks about it over 200 times in His Word (the English Standard Version anyway). If something I’m doing or watching doesn’t bring joy, than I better find something else to do or watch.

What brings joy all the time? God. His salvation for us brings joy even after mourning. Our joy is made complete in God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The one who wanted to destroy our joy is Satan. He was defeated by Jesus. Jesus took the power of death away from Satan when He paid the cost of our sin on the cross. Joy is restored to us by God through the sacrifice of Jesus.

Our mourning is now turned into dancing! Our Joy is now being made complete. When we depart this life through death or the Second Coming of Jesus we will enter paradise. Paradise is eternal joy. No tears, no death, no mourning, no crying, and no pain will be there. What will it be like? It will be a new heaven and new earth. I don’t know what that means but the descriptions of what won’t be there tell me that it will be a place of joy.

There was a little girl who was asked by her Sunday School teacher what she thought heaven might be like. She said heaven is a place where it is Christmas morning every day! Because Christmas morning is probably my favorite morning of the entire year, I love this description. Christmas morning is a time when my wife and young sons enjoy worship, then sit in a comfortable home and enjoy opening gifts while Christmas dinner is filling the house with an incredible aroma. My heart swells as I see the joy on my sons’ faces. Joy fills me as I am also filled with love in my heart for them and my wife. I like to think that this is a glimpse of the joy of heaven that Jesus is preparing for us.

This is what I’m going to remember then next time I find myself frustrated by my team, or a bad day at the office, or when I’m stuck in traffic.

Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. (Psalm 30:5 ESV)

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