Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. ~ Romans 12:12 (NLT)
Growing up, I was really, really into sports. I would watch any game any time I could. I listened to sports on the radio (way before steaming was an option), read about them in the newspaper (we didn’t have smartphones), and talk about them with friends at school. These days, my hours for catching a game are a bit more limited. But I try to at least follow my teams.
One of the things I love the most is when one of my teams is just crushing the competition. Why? I enjoy “garbage time” in the fourth quarter. Let me explain. Garbage time is when the game has already been decided. One team is so far ahead that the other cannot possibly catch up. So, the coach pulls all of his superstar players and puts in the guys who rarely get any playing time. I know, that doesn’t sound like fun, but it is. I love watching the superstars now cheering on their teammates from the bench and celebrating with pure joy every time they score. Even when their teammates make a mistake (as often happens in garbage time), they laugh about it and encourage them to refocus and try again. It’s one of the few times you can watch professional athletes demonstrate a child-like joy.
Here’s the deal. It’s garbage time for those of us in the Kingdom of God. The match has already been decided. Jesus wins. Satan loses. There is no turning back. That is the result of the eternal showdown. As a result, our Superstar, and His legion of angels, are cheering us on, waiting for the final buzzer to sound on that wonderful day when Christ returns. They are full of joy and excitement as they watch us help others find faith in their Messiah.
Often times, however, we forget that the whole match has been decided, and we’re on the winning team. This is especially true when we’re going through difficulties in life. This is why the Apostle Paul wrote this reminder, “Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.” So, what is our “confident hope?” It’s simple. Jesus wins and He’s coming back to take us home.
So, today, and every day, live in the victory which Jesus has won for us. Remind yourself that though Satan may score a point or two against you, He cannot win. Every time you remember that amazing truth, give praise to Jesus, and rejoice in our confident hope.