“I don't say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret [of being content]—whether well-fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
This summer, many coaches and athletes will come to know Christ through the camp ministry of FCA. Every year, there is a new theme for FCA Camp, and this year it is “GET FOCUSED.” As coaches and athletes we often prepare for competition by getting focused in different ways. We may read Scripture, listen to music, talk to ourselves or do other pre-game rituals.
Recently, I have noticed many players—Christian and non—writing one particular Bible verse on their taped ankles or wrists before games. The verse is Philippians 4:13, which says, “I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.” It amazes me that players who have never acknowledged Christ as their Lord and Savior or even attempted to cultivate a relationship with Christ would promote such a powerful verse.
Why would Paul write that to the church at Philippi? Was he arrogant? Did he think he was better than others? Was he conceited? No. When you read the verses leading up to verse 13 you read that Paul was saying that he had learned to be content in all situations: hungry or full, rich or poor, healthy or sick, free or in prison. As a former athlete and coach, I also take that to mean content in times of winning and losing. Not happy with losing, but content because I did my best (Colossians 3:23), and content because I can do, or in this case, handle ALL things (including losing) through Christ who gives me strength.
After big wins many players and coaches thank God. But can you imagine a coach or player saying that they would like to thank God for giving them the strength to do their best and giving them the wisdom to praise Him when they lost? It’s easy to thank God after winning a championship, but what about after losing a championship?
Today, let’s recognize that learning to do all things through Christ includes handling every situation with an attitude of praise. Let’s learn to rejoice in Him through the good and the bad and show the world the love and peace of Christ.
1. What can you do to show others that God is good even when you lose?
2. Have you ever heard a player or coach thank God after a loss? Will you be the first?
3. What is the difference in being content in all things and being happy with all things?
1 Timothy 6:6-8