How to Beat the Heat

76ers

Heat can be devastating, disconcerting, and debilitating. So how do you beat the heat?  On a hot day, and in hot conditions, how do you overcome overwhelming circumstances?  There is a way to beat the heat waves of life and the dog days of living.  Certain situations can cause us to become overly and unnecessarily excited emotionally; to become angry and agitated; to become rife and riled; to become irritated and infuriated; to become mean and mad. But we can beat the heat.

In their home opener, the Philadelphia 76ers beat the heat. The Miami Heat.  Yes, it was only one win, but it was a great one. Last night the Sixers beat the defending champion/current dynasty Miami Heat in front of a sold-out crowd.

Heat can be unbearable, untenable, and insufferable. While the young, inexperienced, overmatched Sixers appeared to have little chance of besting the Heat, they managed to out-execute LeBron James and Company; when it mattered most, getting major baskets from Hawes and key free throws from Turner and Carter-Williams in the closing minutes to seal the win.

Heat can be overwhelming, overpowering and undermining. Despite the Heat, the Sixers went on a 13-1 run to end the game last night. Rookie Michael Carter-Williams broke an NBA debut record with 9 steals, none bigger than the steal of Lebron James in the final minutes.

Heat can be intensive, oppressive, and repressive. However, in their season opener against the two-time defending champion Miami Heat, the Sixers gave notice to the league that they may need to be taken seriously. Opening the game on a ridiculous 23-2 run during which they hit their first 11 shots from the field, Philadelphia weathered a steady Miami comeback and ended up with a 114-110 win over a team no one expected them to beat.

Young, inexperienced, overmatched. Sounds like David vs. Goliath.  David had what the rest of the Israelite army didn’t have: confidence in God.  David withstood the heat of Goliath’s challenge and said:“You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.  Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel!  And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!” (NLT)

How do you beat the heat?  How do you beat the heat of oppression, contention and contradiction? I’ll tell you how: know that every battle is the Lord’s. And every victory is the Lord’s victory. And every triumph is the Lord’s.

Jesus is how we beat the heat.  Isaiah prophesied that “A man shall be as a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land (Isaiah 32:2, KJV).  The same prophet spoke of the coming Christ this way: “For thou hast been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat” Isaiah 25:4, RSV

Jesus is our shade from the heat. Jesus is our shelter in the time of storm. Jesus is our great Rock in a weary land. With Jesus, we can beat the heat.

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