“We didn’t stop believing we could win.”
“All of us in this locker room knew the game wasn’t over.”
“We believed in ourselves, and this belief brought us to victory.”
“Our fans didn’t believe we could win this game, but we had no doubt the victory would be ours.”
These are the quotes given whenever a sports team comes up with a dramatic victory. Whether it is a furious 2nd half comeback when all hope was lost or an upset over a more-talented opponent, these are the comments coming from the winning team.
If you are a sports fan, or have been a participant in a team sport, you have likely seen your share of dramatic victories and crushing defeats. Maybe your favorite team gave up 3 touchdowns in the final quarter, or perhaps you have been part of a team that knocked off a powerhouse.
Either way, the drama and excitement generated during these games is what keeps us watching.
All of which brings me back to the quotes from the winning team.
While I know first-hand the importance of believing against all odds, it is interesting these quotes always come after the game has ended. It seems as though these comments are easy to say when you win. Think about it, you never hear the loosing team say this when the comeback didn’t occur or when the favored team won.
I wonder what type of comments we could obtain during the heat of the battle.
Would the players have full confidence of a victory when they trail by 14 points with 2 minutes left in the game? Did these teams know for certain the game wasn’t over? Did any doubt start to creep in about what they could accomplish? While it makes for a great ending, I know these players had to have some doubts during the game.
I know I have doubted. I’ve turned off plenty of games when it appeared the outcome was decided only to be shocked when I saw the final score.
In addition, I have been on teams where my teammates and I knew winning was slim, and we concentrated on making it respectable rather than winning.
How then do these teams pull out these victories?
Sometimes, it’s a coach or a group of players who constantly encourage their teammates to keep believing. Other times, someone makes a key play which inspires the rest of the team and builds confidence. The bottom line is someone, or something, helps these teams overcome their unbelief.
What about our personal lives?
Without question, all of us have faced challenges and situations where things seemed bleak. Circumstances such as financial struggles, health concerns, and the well-being of our family members sometimes leave us doubting our beliefs. Even though we want to believe everything will work out, we find it hard to put this into practice.
Who can help us with unbelief?
In Mark 9, Jesus encounters a man whose son suffers from epileptic seizures (v17-18). The man asks Jesus if he is able to heal his son (v22). Jesus responds by saying he can heal his son as long as the man believes it can be done (v23). The man answers Jesus by saying he does believe but needs help with his unbelief (v24).
Sound familiar to any of us?
You see, this man wanted to believe Jesus could heal but had doubts in his mind. This man wasn’t sure Jesus could do what he said he could do. This man needed Jesus to help him overcome his doubts. Yet, after Jesus healed his son, this man’s doubts were more than likely erased.
Doubt. Fear. Uncertainty. Hopelessness. These emotions, and countless others, all run through our minds no matter how much belief we have. Whether it’s your favorite sports team faced with overcoming a huge deficit or it’s us facing uncertain times, we need someone to help us overcome our doubts.
While I am not sure how much Jesus cares about helping sports teams achieve victory, I know Jesus cares about helping us. I know Jesus wants and desires for us to believe in him and his power.
And, I know Jesus will help us overcome our doubts.
What about you?
Do you really believe Jesus will help you?
It’s nice to hear or read about a group of individuals who bought into the belief they could overcome incredible odds. However, when you are faced with a challenge, what will you do?
Are you going to give up or are you going to put your trust in Jesus? Are you going to worry about what you can’t do or are you going to focus on what Jesus can do?
Don’t give up. Put your trust in the Prince of Peace. Once you do, you’ll never stop believing.