Monday, July 25, 2016

July 25, 2016 - How To Know What You're Made Of...

I was sharing with my kids this week about the year I was coaching after our school had won the national championship. It was a great year… unless you were judging by the scoreboard. The year of the national championship we had some really good tight high scoring games… and some high scoring games where we blew the other teams out. The year following, we had some really good tight games… and some high scoring games where the other teams blew us out…

The difference was that the championship team had a lot of seniors that went on to play college ball and a lot of size (which is one thing you can’t teach.) The year where we were on the short-end of the scoreboard at times, we had a couple guys that went on to college ball (one was still in middle school and one just a sophomore) and we had virtually no size when it comes to hoops. (I think our tallest guy was only 6’1” or 6’2”.)

Some of our fans actually came to me and stated that we should play a softer schedule so we don’t get beat so bad. I asked my kids this week when I was sharing this story if they thought I should have lightened up the schedule. You may be wondering why I said “it was a great year”?

My motto as a coach and player was that I/our teams couldn’t truly know what we were made of unless we faced the biggest challenges. I didn’t take pride in beating easy opponents. I loved the times that year the young guys competed hard against bigger opponents. I loved it when we would stay with a vastly superior team for a game, or a half, or even a quarter. I can’t remember the score of any game that year; yet I can remember plays where our guys rose up against adversity.

I was telling my kids about those years as I was leading up to talking to them about some adversity heading our way as a family… The reality is that at times this thing called life is hard! Some Bible teachers even try to present the Christian life as a way for everything in life to be rosy… this simply isn’t true. In fact, if that were true why would God say this about Himself:

·         Psalm 62:8 Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a REFUGE for us. Selah (means pause and think about it…)

·         Psalm 32:7 You are my HIDING PLACE; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah (The Hebrew word for “preserve” means to “watch over”… do you get that? God is watching over us in the midst of the trouble!)

·         Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you: Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

I could go on and on with just verses about running to God in our times of troubles, but I think you get the picture. Charles Stanley said, “Often times God demonstrates His faithfulness in adversity by providing for us what we need to survive. He does not change our painful circumstances. He sustains us through them.”

Psalm 50:15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.

Life is hard and I plan to face it head on. I told my kids that it is not that big of a deal when we walk by faith in the easy times… not that big of a deal when we praise His name in the good times… that is easy to do. But in the hard times will we stand (and by stand I mean “trust” Him)?

Proverbs 24:10 If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.

I am currently facing some serious adversity. (I’ll share more about this in the coming days.) I am willing to face the giants! I want to be faithful in the “day of trouble”! And in the meantime this is what I am going to do: I will praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are your works, and that my soul knows very well. Psalm 139:14

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