“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” — 2 Timothy 4:7
No Guts, No Glory
Across the sports world, athletes know this truth: If they have the desire and intestinal fortitude to persevere at “crunch time,” they will have their chance at glory. As fans, some of the moments we remember best are when our heroes miss a shot or strike out, but never stop trying. They stick it out until the clock ticks down and the game is on the line. Then they make their move in order to push themselves and their team to triumph. This is when we find out if the man or woman has the guts to be great.
In 2001, the University of Georgia began a new era of football when Coach Mark Richt was hired from Florida State. One of his team mottos was, “Finish the drill.” This phrase stemmed from gym-mat drills he planned for his football team to do in offseason workouts. The drills were tougher than anything even the most physically fit Bulldogs had done in previous years. However, it was clear from previous seasons that the team needed something to build their character for the taxing SEC schedule.
Results were fruitful in the 2002 season, in which Georgia won its first SEC championship since 1982. It was clear the new coach was right for the job and had the guts to lead UGA back to glory. The mat drills were a nightmare at first for the young men, but they would later be grateful they were pushed to “finish the drill” and fight to the end.
The Bible is filled with stories of people who displayed guts in the face of circumstances tougher than any athlete has experienced. We learn from both the Old and New Testaments that God walks with His children through fiery furnaces, fierce battles and even family betrayal.
Caleb supported Joshua for many years in Israel’s journey to the Promised Land. He trusted God and would not back down until he saw it happen, though many of his peers did not have the guts. “Now then, just as the Lord promised, He has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then” (Joshua 14:10-11).
In the book of Revelation, Jesus’ disciple John faithfully trusted God would provide for him, even while exiled to the island of Patmos. He persevered and was rewarded by seeing the glorious future of Heaven that awaited him. “The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending His angel to His servant John, who testifies to everything he saw — that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:1-2).
As Christians, we trust God’s plans for our lives. However, when sickness, violence in our nation and worldwide, financial hardship, or family trials come, we can feel like the odds are stacked against us and struggle to find hope. Even so, the promises of our Heavenly Father live on and we can know for sure there is hope. It is good to know this world is not our final home and there are eternal rewards waiting for us. We must remain faithful and fight to the end, sharing Jesus’ love and forgiveness with those around us and not compromising our stance for the truth of the Bible.
Paul, the mighty missionary, “finished the drill” in his walk with Christ and was inspired to write these words: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).
— Allen Kent
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