About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Will To Win
I've been somewhat
of a sports fan since I entered my teenage years.
In 1965 the Chicago Black Hawks were my favourite hockey team,
mainly because Bobby Hull was our hometown hero.
In 1978 I became an avid Montreal Expo baseball fan. When
my wife and I moved to
After moving south to
Anyone who is any
kind of a sports fan knows that winning breeds winning, and if allowed,
losing breeds losing. In part,
losing is what the Toronto Blue Jays are struggling with in what they call
their rebuild year. Loss after loss makes it tough to maintain the motivation to win.
The apostle Paul
made a few references to sporting events in his letters.
2 Timothy 4:7 says this:
fought the good fight, I have finished the race,
I have kept the faith."
If Paul was alive
today, I think he'd be a football fan.
It's a game, where more often than not, you fail to reach your
goal. You run hard and fast
with the ball in hand until some three hundred pound blob of muscle and
fat comes out of nowhere and flattens you into the ground.
After coming to your senses, you get back on your feet, and do it
all again. It's either
stupidity or the will to win. On
and on it goes, but no matter how many times you lie on the field in pain,
you never give up. It's what
the life of Paul was all about. No
matter the discouraging defeats, and there were many, Paul never lost the
will to win. He
wanted the same for the church. 1
Corinthians 9:24 says this:
"Do you not
know that in a race all the runners run, but
only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize."
"you" in this verse
is plural, not singular. Paul
was addressing the church, not individuals, a church that was struggling
with divisive defeats. Despite
the losses, Paul wanted this church to be a unified team
Paul knew that
Jesus never promised a life without defeats and discouragements.
John 16:33 says this:
"I have told
you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world."
If you think about
it, God is really good at being victorious in the midst of defeat.
He is always successful at turning a loss into a win. The cross of Christ proves that.
As a matter of fact, many of God's victories, and those of
Christians over the centuries, have risen from the depth of defeat.
I'm convinced that Paul viewed his execution, not as a defeat as
would be expected, but a victory that led Him into the immediate presence
If I had a human hero, it would not be the Black Hawks' Bobby Hull, the Blue Jays' Joe Carter, the Redskins' Joe Theismann, or the Cavaliers' Ralph Sampson. It would be the apostle Paul. No matter the defeats, I want to finish my God-scheduled race, and, I want to finish it with those Jesus has called me alongside to run.
In golfing terms,
discouragement and defeat are par for the Christian course.
Nevertheless, by the inspiring power of the Holy Spirit, I, and we,