Enthusiastic (365 Days of Daring Faith — DAY 366)
Romans 12:11-12 (NLT)
Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.
Many people get excited about starting a new project or setting a new goal but never actually reach the finish line because they never learned how to maintain a disciplined work ethic and enthusiastic attitude over the long haul. In order to reach your long-term goals, you need long haul enthusiasm. You’ve got to have passion, heart, and inner fire for what you’re doing or you’ll never make it to the finish line. You will easily get discouraged and give up if there is nothing on the inside propelling you forward.
Maintaining enthusiasm means you stick with the stuff in spite of difficulties and obstacles. You don’t give up when you meet delays or run into dead ends. It means you don’t buckle under the problems you encounter or the criticism you face. True enthusiasm must come from the inside. It is not really about positive thinking or forcing yourself to be more optimistic or feigning passion because someone else has the same passion.
True enthusiasm comes from being excited about the plan God has set for your life and being happy about the purpose God has given you. It is the kind of enthusiasm that comes from being in God and having God in you. It isn’t affected by negative people, dysfunctional environments, an erratic economy, the changing seasons, or anything else. Every new day we enter comes with new strength from God and also deserves renewed enthusiasm.
Paul writes in Romans 12:11-12, “Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.” No matter what you do, if you are a believer, you do it out of service to God. You could be a street sweeper or a fast food worker, you work hard and serve in your capacity with enthusiasm. We are able to serve with enthusiasm when we do three things: rejoice in hope, be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.
That’s it. You don’t have to pump yourself up. You don’t have to have a morning meditation session. You don’t have to attend a seminar or participate in a small group to get enthusiastic about your life and your goals. It isn’t about you changing, it is about God changing you. Ask him to give you the joy that comes from confident hope. Ask him to help you to be patient in the middle of trouble. Ask him to help you to be faithful in prayer. Then you will be grateful for your purpose, passionate in your actions, hard working at your goals and enthusiastic about service.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
— Howard Thurman