November 13, 2017

By Paul J Banta

John 16:22-24 says, “So, you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy.  At that time, you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name.  You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.”NLT

In this game we coach and have this great passion, we often find there are days we’re looking at our circumstances and making faithless judgments about the things we hope to see from our coaching. We even sometimes humanly struggle to believe the biblical truth that God is present in all our circumstances, yet when it’s been a bad day, and you asked for the Lord guidance agreeing He’s the Master of your life. How could we lose that match or how could that player do that to an opponent or a referee or how could I lose my cool with that teammate or that ref? Why did I use that type of language or look that way so hateful and the story goes on? We’ve all been there. Jesus, on the other hand, was sure about the reality of God and sure about God’s presence in His life, so why can’t we be like Him 100% of the time? What’s got to change?

Think about the following: Heading into a crisis that was going to cost Jesus His earthly life, Jesus was so confident of God’s presence that, during the Last Supper, not one of His disciples discerned the gravity of the circumstances! Jesus was convinced that God was not only present but also working through every detail which was about to unravel and shake up the world forever. And, yes, later that evening Jesus began sweating blood from the strain of it all, but He remained confident that His Father was there and aware. He trusted God was working things out. So, the answer for us is in the Lord’s timing and beyond our impatience, beyond our thoughts, words, and actions that don’t often match up with the right expectation of Biblical Truths God wants us to live. We can change it all by a five-letter word TRUST. We usually trust our players, coaching staff, our friends, family, so why not put a trust in Christ who got nailed for us. The person, who loves us beyond anyone would ever and blesses us beyond anything we could ever expect. By working on what trust is all about for our lives Biblically (not what the world we live in believes) and having a daily relationship with Christ, we can be confident that God is working in our lives.  By trusting Him more and more for the small, medium and significant things we face, we will begin to slowly and assuredly develop a radical faith in Christ.

When we decide to understand this concept of being radical for Christ in a robust growing faith, He will use us to help change the hearts of others through this game of soccer. God is faithful when we do the things He tells us to do and then see that He did come through on His promises in His timing, not ours. In other words, we grow in faith by being faithful. Just like players develop their match performance by being committed to what’s expected, so we trust Jesus and see that He is real and that makes us believe Him even more.

What’s your next move?