Friday, May 7, 2021

Team Jesus: The Joy and Pain That Comes With the Game

“You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to be distressed by various trials so that the genuineness of your faith - more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire - may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” - 1 Peter 1:6

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Keiston France
Keiston France
A summa cum laude graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, Keiston France majored in Journalism & Mass Communication and served as the captain on the men's varsity tennis team. Keiston currently works for NASCAR as a developmental tire changer for Chip Ganassi Racing. His favorite Bible verse is 'Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not yet seen.' Hebrews 1:11

As Team Jesus, what do we consider to be the “trials” of our sport? What parts of our character are tied to those trials? Do they test our wills, our bodies, our attitudes, our emotions, or all the above? How deeply are we affected by those trials?

In 1 Peter 1:6, we read, “You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to be distressed by various trials.”

In the world of athletes, we all can find great enjoyment and fulfillment in playing the game for which we have skill and talent. In fact, many of us seemingly live for competition. But, the trying parts of the process often wear us down. The disappointment and frustration that comes with sore muscles, painful joints, disappointing losses, and strained relationships can deplete our strength.

The Mind to Win on Team Jesus

4th quarter comebackWe greatly rejoice in the best parts of our game, but we also, for a little while, may have to undergo plenty of grief. It may feel like a lifetime, but I want to encourage you with two words from our focus verse: short time. The afflictions we face while playing on Team Jesus can’t compare with the glory that will be revealed in and through us (Romans 18:8).

So today, let’s focus our minds on our favorite parts of the game (Philippians 4:8). Those plays where our opponent, the enemy, thought he had us – but God designed a “FLOOD GATE RIGHT BREAK” play call that shook him off of our trail. Put yourself in remembrance of when the game broke your spirit, but God sent another teammate to encourage you and lift your head (Psalm 3:3). Remind yourself that when the time on the clock is running out, and it seems like you’re out of answers, The Way, The Truth, and The Life – Jesus Christ – has a master plan you’ve never dreamed about that will cause you to triumph (John 14:6).

So, What’s The Play Call?

Team Jesus! Let’s put the grief and the trials behind us, keep a clear view of our team’s goals, and press on toward a great finish!

  1. What part of competition/practice do you dread the most? Why?
  2. How can you look at that activity in a positive light?
  3. What attitude would Jesus want you to have?

Father, I admit that there are things about the game that I do not enjoy. Help me to see those tasks through Your eyes and bring You glory in everything I do. Amen.

Post-Workout Stretch

This is my comfort in my affliction: Your promise has given me life.” – Psalm 119:50

Consider it a great joy, my * brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” – James 1:2–4

Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you. Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of the Messiah, so that you may also rejoice with great joy at the revelation of His glory.” – 1 Peter 4:12–13

 

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