Coaching is very stressful at times. You are trying to make decisions and give directions that will either positively or negatively affect the outcome of the game. And at the same time the opponent’s coach is doing the same thing. So every plan you devise is somewhat dependant upon the other team doing what you expect.
Can you imagine how less stressful it would be if as the coach you already knew your team was going to win? You could give direction and encourage the players on how to handle situations, all while knowing the outcome. It would create a totally different perspective on how you view the game.
The Apostle Paul had an amazing ability to be content in his life in spite of circumstances. In fact his life was better in the physical realm when he was still Saul. Yet Paul is consistently championing the cause of JOY and PEACE in our lives.
His secret (at least one of them) was a new attitude based upon a new perspective. He knew the things happening in the game of life were temporal and that when the buzzer sounded for the “game” to be over that he was on the winning team!
That is why he can say that the bad things that happened to him were to further the Gospel. That is why he could say that to die would simply be gain. In other words he was saying “the game may be going bad right now but I am going to keep pressing on because I know it will end up in the right place.” (Study the letter to the Philippians to see Paul’s perspective.)
I was able to get a picture of this type of mentality recently. A dear friend purchased season passes for my family to an amusement park near where we live. The first time we used them I was standing in a long line for a coaster. I typically get very frustrated in lines like that, yet that particular day I noticed that I was fine. I was pressing toward the goal of riding on the coaster but was stress free in spite of the slow progress. Then it dawned on me: I was stress free because I had a different perspective. If the line took so long that I missed going on another ride then so be it. I had a season pass; I could come back the next day if I wanted to. Having a victorious view of the end circumstances made the present circumstances much more bearable.
Can I remind you of something you already know? Life is hard and will flat out kick you in the teeth some times. Yet if you are on God’s team you can still be content knowing the outcome – one of ultimate victory when the game is over and one of temporal victory with the promise that God works all things for good to those that love Him (Romans 8:28).
We need to live with a victorious, eternal perspective, not one that is based upon temporal circumstances!