There is no joy in Mudville … nor Minnesota … as our home team was brutally defeated by the Philadelphia Eagles last night. Hopes we so high for the Vikings and their fans. They had placed their faith in a group of men to finally play in the Super Bowl in their own new stadium in Minneapolis. I have to admit, I was among those saddened by the loss. After last week’s victory, the Minnesota Miracle faded into oblivion.
It’s good for us to set goals – to plan – to motivate – to encourage, but what happens when those dreams fall apart and are never realized? It kind of reminds me of the fickle, ancient Romans, who would attend the games of their day and roar like the cacophonic crowds we see at our sporting events today. They put so much stock in their heroes and quickly turned on them when they were defeated. It’s much the same today when our team loses. We feel humiliated, disappointed, let down, overcome and many even go into a state of depression over it.
Whenever we place our hopes in something other than the God of creation, we’re setting ourselves up for defeat. God isn’t going to always give us wins. Life just isn’t that way. We often have to go through a lot of losses before we realize what we needed to learn from them. Sometimes we never learn, but that doesn’t mean we should feel defeated. Our enemy, the devil would like us to believe that winning is the most important thing in life.
Being a Christian doesn’t guarantee a smooth road for us either. There will be potholes and detours. We might even slip off the path from time to time. We may lose control of the wheel or crash, but there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.
Great athletes, exceptional leaders, men and women of integrity, amazing teachers – will come and go. We’ll face losses in this life, but we can be confident of a real win in the end. When Jesus is the center of our game, we can’t lose.
1 Peter 1:13-16
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”