6:30 a.m. on New Years Day, I found myself at the airport ready to take off for Passion 2013 with a large group of friends from my church. This gathering at the Georgia Dome of young believers (ages 18-25) from around the U.S. and the world was a transformational experience that I didn’t expect. After a long day of airports and walking around downtown Atlanta in the rain, finally sitting in the Dome seemed like a small victory. Those next few days would teach me so much, bring me to meet some really great girls in my Family Group and ultimately bring me to the realization that I serve an amazing God.
Many great speakers were present at Passion 2013 this year: Louis Giglio, Beth Moore, Judah Smith, Francis Chan and John Piper. While I thoroughly enjoyed each one of them, I found that Beth Moore in particular struck a chord with me. Her message on the Passover and its significance in the Last Supper taught me new things I had never heard before. For example, when Jesus and His disciples were singing a hymn before heading to the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:30), they most likely were singing Psalm 118. Psalm 118:24 says, “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” If this was part of the hymn that they were singing, Jesus was singing this knowing that very soon He would be beaten, bruised and crucified for the salvation of sins. Yet despite this, He followed the will of the Father and declared that He was glad.
Moore concluded by teaching us the difference between “good” and “glad.” She said, “Good is a condition. Glad is an emotion.” She used the example that if someone were to ask you how you are doing, and you simply reply “good,” then that’s the end of the conversation. However, if you reply “I’m glad,” that will result in the follow-up question, “Why?” With this in mind, there are many reasons why, as believers, we should be glad. Even when our emotions falter, there is joy to be found in the blessings we are given and what Christ has done for us. So much of this we take for granted in our everyday life, and the truth is that everything pales in comparison to what we have to be glad about.
I realize this may sound a whole lot like Pollyanna, the girl who always found something to be glad about in every situation, even in trials. But the more I examine my own life and the tendencies I have to complain and gripe about even the littlest things, I think this “Pollyanna” philosophy is a much better way to go. I have air to breathe and a place to live, and I am glad. I have family and friends who love me very much, and I am glad. Christ has taken my sin upon himself to save my soul, and I am glad. With these and too many others to name in mind, why do I complain so much when I have so much to be glad about? This is going to be a lot easier said than done, because honestly, life can really be a downer sometimes. But if Christ could rejoice in what He was about to sacrifice, then I think that we as believers can find a multitude of things to be glad about.