PROVEN starts with being passionate for God. The word passion comes from the Latin root pati, which means suffering. We get the word patience from this root, too. Consider in 1 Corinthians 13 how God’s Word describes love as “long-suffering” in one translation and “patience” in another. They mean the same thing. Think about it. How often, when we choose to delay gratification, does our waiting feel like suffering? That’s not entirely what God means, either. Our suffering needs to demonstrate our devotion and faith through sharing the good news of Christ!
Today, passionate describes as “showing or caused by strong feeling or strong belief.” When God calls us to follow Him is He asking us to feel strongly about who He is and our relationship with Him? The Bible describes a different longing. Jesus said “deny yourself, take up your cross daily, and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23). A concordance search for passion yields one example in the New Testament and the Greek translates it to suffer. Another concordance search on suffer or suffering demonstrates that faith in Christ often results in suffering.
In the world, but not of it
Let’s connect the secular and biblical definitions of passionate. We can probably agree that the passion we have for God comes from our strong belief, rather than emotion. Belief produces faith–believing in that which we cannot see–faith produces works (see James).
When we live a life worthy of the gospel, we will be opposed. We will suffer. (see Philippians 1) Throughout his letters, Paul describes his joy in suffering and reminds believers that suffering for Christ is a good thing.
Born from emotion or faith?
The question to ask ourselves is whether we “feel passionate” about God or “show passion” for God.
Consider this PROVEN post from the archives, Passion and Destroying the Sacred and this devotional by John Piper, Passionate for God and Truth.
How would you describe your passion for God? What will you do to change it?