I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.
John 16:33, THE MESSAGE
I’m a sports fan.
I’m a sports fan because living the Christian life is likened to being an athlete. An athlete is not a casual observer of the sport. An athlete is a student of the game. And so are the fans. And Philly sports fans are die-hard: we wear our hearts on our sleeves and take our winning seriously. Christians should be as serious about their faith as Philly fans are about the Eagles, Phillies, Flyers and Sixers winning games, and of course the championship (thanks to the Phils for winning recently!)
I’m a sports fan because in sports we can watch anything happen, especially the reversal of fortune. I like to run, swim and bike; the sports I cannot play I can watch and participate vicariously. In other words, what I can’t do, “my” team can do.
I’m a sports fan because in sports:
David defeats Goliath
The underdog beats the favorite
The No. 16 Seed trounces the No. 1 Seed (one day!)
The “little guy” beats up the bully
The nerds beat down the jocks
The last place team steamrolls the first place team
The JV whips the varsity
The old timers surprise the wiper-snappers
The walk-ons shock the starters
The washed-up veteran shows up the rookie of the year.
In the end, we win. Undermanned and overmatched, we win.
Jesus gave us these promises: “ . . . trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.” And because he conquered, we too can conquer. “He who conquers shall have this heritage, and I will be his God and he shall be my son.” (Revelation 21:7, RSV).
What do you need to overcome? With God nothing is impossible, and no obstacle is insurmountable. There’s no mountain too high, no valley to low, no ocean too wide for our God.
In the cute Disney film The Lion King, cheerful, feisty lion cub Simba “Just Can’t Wait to Be King,” but with the loss of his dad, Mufasa, he gets a rude awakening and his adventures take a new path. He must overcome Scar, his selfish and greedy uncle who is plotting to take the kingdom with his no-account henchmen hyenas by his side.
Like Simba, we are destined to rule and reign. We are kings and priests. We are the sons of God. If our Lord overcame, then we too shall overcome. During the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr. and his freedom fighters sang, “We Shall Overcome, Someday . . . Deep in my heart, I do believe, we shall overcome someday.”
Deep in my heart, I do believe that someday is today.