When was the last time you got excited? I mean heart-racing, adrenaline-pumping, don’t-think-you-can-stand-it excited. Now eliminate all those times it had to do with a sporting event. That probably leaves your wedding day, the birth of a child, your last promotion or some other significant life-changing event. But how many times have you been over-the-top excited about your spiritual life? When was the last time you had a quiet time that made your heart race? Can you think of an occasion when you saw the power of God displayed in your life and just wanted to shout about it? Probably not.
The truth is, when it comes to our walk with Christ, many of us are bored beyond belief. That’s why we look anywhere and everywhere else for a little excitement in our lives. If we were honest we’d have to admit that we find Christianity a bit too tepid and uninspiring at times. Even the best of worship services tends to leave us yawning rather than standing on our feet cheering. But is the problem with Christianity or with us? The answer is probably, “Both”. But the problem is not with the One in whom we have placed our faith. New life in Christ should be anything but boring. The thrill of a last-second, game-winning buzzer beater has nothing to compare with the reality of knowing our sins are forgiven and eternal life is ours. A new car, no matter how expensive it is, can’t hold a candle to new life in Jesus Christ. So why is it we find our spiritual lives so uninspiring and unfulfilling so much of the time? I think the simple answer is faith, or a lack of it. We just don’t believe it can be all we’ve been told it can be. Our experience has proven to us that it doesn’t work. We don’t seem to have any more joy after coming to faith in Christ than we did before. We still lack peace and contentment. We don’t seem to have much in the way of motivation or incentive. Reading the Bible bores us. Praying frustrates us. Joy alludes us. And the concept of heaven and eternal rewards escapes us. So we put all our stock in this world and all it has to offer. We seek relief from our spiritual boredom in earthly things – things we can experience with all our senses. And because we’re prone to rely on our senses as indicators of whether something is truly exciting or not, even in our spiritual lives we can gravitate toward those things that produce the feelings we are looking for. The result can be a sensational-seeking sensibility that leads us to look for the next spiritual high as proof that we are really growing.
But the problem is that Christianity is based on faith, not sight. It relies on trust, not feelings. The writer of Hebrews reminds us, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see” (Hebrews 11:1 NLT). The danger we all face as Christians is to spend all our time seeking satisfaction and fulfillment from the things of this world, when God has promised us so much more. We’re bored because we don’t believe that God has something far greater for us than a new car, a bigger house, a national championship for our favorite team, a promotion, a raise or any of a number of other things that we turn to for that feeling of excitement we so eagerly seek. Paul felt so strongly about this that he concluded, “Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8 NLT). Paul found being a believer extremely exciting. It wasn’t easy, but it was anything but boring. His faith in Jesus got tested each and every day. It was a thrill-a-minute, roller-coaster ride of a lifetime. He never knew what was around the corner. He could be cheered or jeered, have accolades thrown his way or rocks. He found joy in serving Christ. He experienced excitement in watching God work in miraculous ways, even through the difficult times of life. Which lead him to say, “for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little” (Philippians 4:11-12 NLT)
Living for Christ should be anything but boring; that is, if you’re living it by faith. If you attempt to live the Christian life by sight, you will be constantly disappointed and find it less-than-thrilling. If you’re expecting it to be a thrill-a-minute experience, you will have to look elsewhere. Thrill seekers are looking for a quick fix; a short-term infusion of excitement that has no long-term benefits. They’re adrenaline junkies, living from one emotional high to the next. But faith seekers are those who learn to trust God and live with their hope placed on Him rather than their circumstances. They believe in Him, not the momentary ups and downs of this life. If we’re bored, it’s because we don’t believe He can deliver all that He has promised: Hope, joy, contentment, satisfaction, fulfillment, acceptance, confidence, peace, comfort, direction, assurance, and so much more. If anyone finds life with God boring, they don’t really know Him. The Christian life is a non-stop adventure into the unknown, trusting in a God who is unseen, who has a plan for our lives that is mostly unrevealed, but whose love for us is unquestionable. We may not know what tomorrow holds, but we can know that He holds us in His firm, unfailing hands. Learning to trust Him can be the most exciting thing you have ever done.