Out for the Season
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed…because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in His presence…Therefore we do not lose heart...For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all…”
-2 Corinthians 4:8-18 (NIV)
"Out for the season." It was the tough phrase of the week used by most sports broadcasters and repeatedly scrolled across ESPN's Bottom Line. It also was an unexpected and harsh reality for NFL stars Tom Brady, Shawne Merriman and Nate Burleson.
Some of the League's best, done in a moment. You've probably heard the frustrations of the Fantasy Footballers (I think that's actually a real title) in your office or school, just like I have in mine. "With Brady out, my team's done!"
But maybe this phrase hits you closer to home. Maybe it’s your own harsh reality, spoken through the voice of your team doctor or athletic trainer this week. You've worked so hard; you've sacrificed so much and prepared so tirelessly to get ready for the most anticipated season, game or race or your career, and with one blindside hit, one blow to the knee, one roll of the ankle you're out for the season.
Let’s take it even a step further. Maybe your "out for the season" comes in the form of a financial, relational or health blow that came out of left field. Maybe because of the news you heard, you can't find north on your compass today. Regardless of the cause, do you feel that your identity, your worth, or your future and hope have been shattered because of the blow you've taken? We all need to be reminded that our athletic ability, our status, our title, that relationship, our possessions, even our life on earth all are temporary; and we must constantly seek Him and make sure our identity and worth are found in Jesus Christ alone.
Be encouraged today, though, in the midst of whatever you are facing. God is faithful and sovereign, and He has a purpose. Second Corinthians 4:14-15 says that, "We know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in His presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God."
As the passage continues in verse 16, God's Word reminds us to "not lose heart…for our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
1. Do you believe God has a purpose in the "harsh reality" you are facing today?
2. Is your worth or identity found in your athletic ability, title, possessions, etc?
3. Are you bringing glory to God in the midst of your "harsh reality"?