This devotional was taken from Sports Spectrum’s latest Training Table, a 13-week devotional published in each print issue. Log in HERE to view the Spring 2016 print issue of Sports Spectrum or access the Spring 2016 Training Table.
“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.” Philippians 4:12-13
Jim Abbott brought a whole new meaning to the term “Southpaw.”
Abbott, a pitcher in the Major Leagues from 1989-1999 for six different teams, didn’t have much of a choice when determining which hand with which to throw. He was born without a right hand.
Despite this disability, which, for some, may have made baseball impossible, Abbott was taken in the 36th round of the 1985 MLB draft by the Toronto Blue Jays and debuted on April 8, 1989, for the California Angels. Abbott made a living in the major leagues for the next 10 years, even throwing a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians on September 4, 1993.
Like Abbott, the apostle Paul dealt with a number of environments where things seemed to be stacked against him—several shipwrecks, imprisonment, constant persecution—yet Paul learned to be content in all circumstances as he talks about in Philippians 4. His secret? Constant dependence on Christ and His strength.
Not only do we need Christ to strengthen us in times of great adversity, but also in times of great success. God remains constant and unchanging, despite our ever-changing circumstances, so we should not base our reliance on Him on our circumstances.
Regardless of whether situations seem stacked in our favor or completely against us, we must continue to rely on God for strength.
By Kevin Horner