I wrote this on Facebook Sunday night, but I thought it appropriate to share today.
“Whoever trusts in the LORD, happy is he” (Proverbs 16:20).
This is why I can be happy in Jesus tonight even though my favorite team lost the Super Bowl in the final moments. :) I mean this with all my heart. He remains sovereign and loving and purposeful even when in minor things (like the Super Bowl) or in major ones, He has designs other than the ones I wished for—according to "the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will" (Ephesians 1:11). One day we’ll see in retrospect that He has worked all things together—among the least of them being sports outcomes—for our good (Romans 8:28). May God give us the grace to believe today what we’ll one day know to have been true all along. Not just in the small things, but in the things in our lives far bigger than a Super Bowl. :) (That's me and Nanci, along with our daughter Angela and her family and her father-in-law and our friend John Stump, in the photo, which appeared on the front page of the Gresham Outlook newspaper before the game. Especially fun to see our grandsons Jake and Ty interviewed and then quoted in the article!)
Disappointment is human and understandable, and I don’t minimize it, but I want to maximize the “good news of great joy” in Jesus Christ. That’s not limited to fans of one of 32 teams, or to one person in three, but is always available not only to the whole world, but to each of us who know Jesus, since we all need a daily and hourly infusion of His supernatural grace.
I encourage you to watch the following video featuring some Christ-followers I really appreciate, some of whom I know personally. If the men in this video had won the Super Bowl, as they did last year, I think their words might be taken as health and wealth gospel—“We’ve won the big game, so you should listen to us.” No, they LOST the big game on Sunday, but what they share remains 100% true. We usually feel the need for God more when we deal with our losses than when we celebrate our gains. Therefore what they have to say is if anything more significant, not less.
photo credit: Troy Wayrynen for the Gresham Outlook