Having the Heart of a Champion
Back in 2007, I, along with the rest of the world, watched one of the best tournament finals matches in the history of professional tennis. It was when Roger Federer overcame a tremendous effort by Rafael Nadal to win his fifth Wimbledon championship. As Federer worked to win championship point, the commentators recalled his efforts to climb back into the match after being down two games to none in the fifth and facing break point. One commentator said, "In a match like this, you can never count out the heart of a champion. We just witnessed the heart and the head of this champion." Federer dug deep to find the will to win—that deep-seated determination to finish the task at hand. The final point, his tears of joy and the “coronation” of a new king of tennis were memorable.
The night that Christ was betrayed, He spent time with His disciples. Before Jesus went to the garden that night, the last words He spoke to the disciples (as recorded by John) were, "I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world" (John 16:33).
Christ was the perfect example of a someone with the heart of a champion. He completed the task at hand. He was obedient to the end. He endured the agony of the cross, the shame of public crucifixion and the burden of sin placed on Him. He conquered death and overcame its grip to reclaim His throne next to His Father. Though He had the power of the universe in His hands, He remained humble and submitted to the will of His Father. And He emerged victorious!
In His message to the seven churches in Revelation, Christ gave a challenge. It was simple: "If you overcome, I will be there with you at the victor's stand!" As Christians, we are to develop the heart of a champion. We are to overcome the world and all its vices. We are to complete the task God has given us to complete and fix our eyes on Him who endured His race to the end.
3. How do you develop the heart of a champion in the Christian life?