If you are a regular reader of my blog, it’s no surprise to learn that I am a HUGE sports fan! I grew up watching high school, college and professional sports of all kinds and that enthusiastic support for my teams has persisted into adulthood. Though my husband likes athletics too, he often says he’s a ‘sports widower’ because I’m the one in the family who keeps up with team records, pays attention to upcoming contests, and posts any one of a number of season schedules on our refrigerator door. On game day, either at the stadium or in my living room, I’m the one wearing team colors, and (too) loudly cheering my team on to victory.
But with busyness of homeschooling, full time jobs, social activities, and just general life with high school and college age children, it can become quite complicated to keep up with who’s playing what when. However, with the advent of modern technology, I don’t have to be sitting in front of the TV or listening to the radio during actual game time anymore. With a press of a button on the DVR, I’m easily able to take care of necessities and still see my team play later when I have down time.
But you know, you have to be careful when you try to delay watching a game since there’s nothing that zaps the excitement of a sporting contest more than stumbling across the score or hearing someone blurt out the results before actually getting to watch the drama unfold first hand.
It’s funny though… Knowing the final outcome kills the intensity of a sporting event, but for believers in Christ, it actually brings comfort as we play our part in game of life. Being confident in the results goes a long way to remove the fear and stress of a tense situation and replace them with an inner sense of calm. It also allows us to move through what appears to be a situation of high anxiety with perfect peace because the winner of the contest has already been determined.
Maybe that’s a current day example of what Jesus was trying to say to his disciples in John 14, 15 & 16. Christ spoke seriously to his disciples in the hours preceding his crucifixion to prepare them for the trauma they were about to endure. He also cautioned them against the deceitfulness of sin, the deception that permeates the world, and what would look to them like the triumph of evil. Into the confusion and darkness of an apparent defeat, He gave them a crucial reminder: “In Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) In today’s language, He was telling them (and us) that we can face any contest with difficulty with assurance because He’d already won.
So if you are filled with apprehension and distress as you watch the enemy sink a mid-court shot as the seconds tick away, step back for a minute and remind yourself that you already know the score. Even when it doesn’t look like anything but a sure defeat, know that Jesus has sealed the outcome and published it in His Word. His triumphant resurrection dealt the final blow to death and the grave and assures us of a victory that will endure forever.
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God!
He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:55-57.