"Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy" (Psalm 100:2 NLT).
To strengthen your faith, you must unite with others in worship. Worship is for God, but it also has benefits for you. Here are two of the biggest benefits of corporate worship: It renews your faith, and it restores your joy.
Isaiah 40:31 (MEV) says, "Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint."
How many times have you gotten up on a Sunday morning and said, "I am so tired; I really don't have any energy to go to church," but then you went to church and worshipped, and afterward, you were more energized? That happens because worship renews you. It strengthens you. It strengthens your faith.
You're not going to get your strength renewed by watching golf on TV. That's just going to make you lazier and lazier. You get renewed by worshiping God with other believers.
As a pastor, sometimes I think of myself like the coach in the boxing movie Rocky. Rocky is out there in the fight, and he's pouring his heart out and just getting beat to a pulp. The bell rings, and he says, "Thank God."
He comes to the corner, and the coach says, "You're doing a good job." The coach throws some water on him, pats him on the back, and says, "Now get back out there."
Sometimes I feel like that's what I'm doing on Sunday for my church. I'm telling people, "You're doing a good job. Now get back out there. You can do this!" But that's not me renewing people's strength. It's the Word of God. It's music and praying and worshiping together with other believers.
The Bible also says in Psalm 100:2, "Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy" (NLT).
I think it ought to be fun to go to church. That may seem strange to you if it's not how you were raised or how you felt about a certain church you've attended. But the Bible says to worship the Lord with gladness—not boredom, sadness or anger, or out of duty. You should be singing for joy in church. Church should have that effect on you. Worship should renew your faith and restore your joy.
"I was glad when they said to me, 'Let us go into the house of the Lord'" (Psalm 122:1, MEV).
Talk It Over
- What is your general attitude about going to church? What motivates you to go to church?
- If you have a complaint about the worship at your church, how do you think God wants you to respond?
- Do you think it's fun to go to church? If not, do you think it is more about the church or about you?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of pastors.com, a global internet community for pastors.
This article originally appeared at pastorrick.com.
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