Sports Spectrum Daily Devotional: Wednesday, January 27

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” — Romans 5:1-5

Rejoice In Hope

It’s easy to get excited when things are going our way. You just threw a shutout, you hit for the cycle or your team won the championship. It’s a little more difficult to rejoice when things aren’t going the way you would like. Sports tend to put us on the performance wheel. We feel as though we are accepted based upon how we did on the field.

We need to be able to keep our sights on something that is more solid. Romans 5:1-5 reminds us of what truly matters because of what Jesus did for us through His death, burial and resurrection. We have been declared not guilty of our sins toward God. Through our faith in Jesus, by His grace, we have peace with God.

These are all great reasons to rejoice in hope, but the passage continues to remind us that God has a plan and a process for what He allows in our lives. Paul tells us we can rejoice in our tribulations. What? Rejoice when I give up the game-winning run or muff the ball in a key situation? Yes, because tribulation brings about perseverance, and perseverance brings proven character, and proven character brings hope.

I have learned more in my life through the difficulties I have suffered than through the good times. God’s love meets us in those difficult times and reminds us we are not in a performance relationship with Him — and we don’t need to be with anyone else.

— Mickey Weston, Chicago White Sox chaplain

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