Tonight as I was teaching with a group of teen missionaries that are on the road with me, I was encouraging/exhorting them to lead balanced lives that have Christ at the center. I was warning them about the “full-court press” that life will put on them to try to get them “out of rhythm” and to commit “turnovers.” It was things I have written about often in these devotions over the years. It was great time of reminding them that they can fully trust in our God!
One key truth we have discussed is the fact that life and God are not synonyms. I know it is something I have talked about before on here. But the reality is that we all need to be reminded that life has its ups and downs while God is constant. We need to be reminded that life at times will drop you to your knees. I reminded them in the sessions that everyone seems happy when they are winning but the test for us as believers is how we handle when we are losing (because there will be days we are losing.) I reminded them of a truth we often share on here: God is on our side and has promised to work things for good in our lives (see Romans 8:28).
To be fully honest on here I told them that I don’t think God cares who wins a game or makes the team… I think He is concerned with how we handle our successes and our defeats! I think He longs for us to “exalt Him” in the good times and the bad. In Philippians 1:20 Paul states that his goal is for Christ to be “always…magnified”! I loved sharing my buddy’s (Coach Terry Primm) motto he urged his college team to play by: “Playing to make God famous!” Then I let them know that the idea here is that whether one is abundantly successful or struggling in life… the goal is still the same: magnify Christ more than self.
I went on to ask them about athletes they though had done that. The group is from St Louis and immediately mentioned Albert Pujols and then I heard Tim Tebow’s name. I discussed the impact those guys have when they proclaim Jesus…
But let’s get real… the fame and money those guys have make it easy to be happy and satisfied doesn’t it? Both have experienced tremendous success. Then I thought about Tebow; he has continued to exalt Christ even when his dreams went downhill. He has continued to exalt Christ in spite of being talked about negatively and ridiculed….
I shared an old phrase with the youth tonight: “I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.” That truth gives confidence that supersedes circumstances!
Had not planned to repeat tonight’s message for this week’s devotion until I got home and turned on the computer. Right away I saw an article on Tim Tebow and it was a bit surprising; he has not been in the new mix lately… He is still working out and trying to pursue his NFL dream in spite of all the critics. He has turned down other football offers in order to stay the course on his dream… and has been unsuccessful so far. Yet he still exalted Christ in the interview and even used the phrase I typed just a paragraph ago... he knows who holds his future and thus he can be happy and content no matter the outcome / circumstances.
The article was a great confirmation of the truths we were discussing… God’s got our backs – trust Him!