I love the playoffs. We lived in Chicago MANY years ago when the Bears were in the playoffs. Then the Lakers stayed in constant playoffs status while we lived in Southern California and of course, now we live in St Louis. Need I say more? The Cardinals are not just the boys of summer but of Red October too!
The truth? The playoffs change people. Not just one or two people, but a whole city.
Everybody becomes a fan. For a few short weeks the playoffs seem to come up in every conversation, text and email. And social media? People sport the team’s colors in the strangest ways and not to mention what they do to their pets!
What’s all the excitement over- really? Victory. We put our faith in the skills of our team to win the title, get the trophy, wear the rings and bask in the ticker tape parade. Oh sweet victory! Nothing is like it. In playoff season, no longer do we focus on the trials and struggles of our life. The project at work that seems endless or the teacher who won’t give you a break become inconsequential as the whole town seems to be living and breathing hope. The hope our team MIGHT be victorious.
If only we could live in the sweetness of the hope of victory from football season to basketball, past soccer, hockey and baseball season and into our everyday life. How great would that be to feel that flutter of excitement that lifts spirits on the darkest days?
Fortunately, through Christ, victory is a done deal. 1 Corinthians 15:57 says “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” What victory has Christ won for us on the cross? The BIG ones: Victory over death and sin.
You’d think knowing we are victorious we’d live each day with so much joy we would put the most ecstatic playoff town to shame. But we don’t. I know I don’t. There are times I worry about next week or fret over past mistakes. Is that living a life victorious? No. That’s living in anticipation of failure not living life relying on a victory already won. Think about it. If you were a quarterback, pitcher or point guard how would you play the game if you knew victory was already yours?
- You could not believe it and play each game frightened of failure.
- You could not play your best because you don’t appreciate the price paid for victory.
- You could give your all with joy, knowing victory is a done deal.
It is so tempting to focus on what is wrong around us instead of what is right. Or to become consumed with what you have to do instead of what has been done for you. You are a victor through Christ! Wake up each morning and breathe in the relief that Christ has already clinched your victory over sin and death. Now your job is to live life with the joy of playoff season and the certainty of victory. Let your life be a celebration of Christ’s victory for you. Hallelujah!