It’s been a hard spring, with sudden season cancellations, social distance, elevated isolation and disrupted personal and team goals we’ve spent hours and months getting ready for, gone in an instant.
This season hasn’t been what anyone was expecting, and we’ve spent a lot of time coming to terms with the reality of what was lost. Good growth has come out of the unanticipated, though, with increased online hangouts and Huddles, bringing teammates and coaches together to keep connected and cemented in the Word.
But we’re weary, worn to the bone with wondering how our lost athletic seasons can be redeemed, and wondering what to even hold onto in this time. How can we strengthen our mind, body and spirit to continue forward?
Let’s look at four truths to give us hope as we press on:
It’s right there in the middle of the page: For God so loved. For God so loved He gave.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” -John 3:16
This is the core of it: that it doesn’t matter what you do, what you have or have not accomplished or how many accolades you receive. You are loved by the God of this universe, unconditionally, simply by being you. God doesn’t base His love off what you do, but rather who He is. Yes, He created you with the talents and abilities you have, but He first dreamed up your heart and the things that make you, you, and saw that it was good.
God loves you, right now, as you are, where you are.
God wants to spend time with you. He wants you to know Him, and He wants to be involved in your life. God has been pursuing you since the beginning of creation. Before you were born, He had you on His mind, and He has been revealing Himself to you ever since.
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. -Romans 5:8
Throughout the Bible, God’s relentless pursuit of His people have paved a way for redemption, salvation, mercy, and provision. He’s always wanted a right relationship with us, but sin stained the connection and brought a gap. But God has come close to us through the life, death, and teachings of Jesus Christ. His pursuit went all the way to the cross, providing a way for us to be with Him through resurrection. He came to find you and bring you into His kingdom for a glorious relationship.
God went through great lengths to get to you. He gave 100% of Himself for you in giving His one and only Son, so you always have a place in God’s family. You have freedom in Christ and have been set alive from the bondage of sin. Christ gave His all for you to live in hope and have fullness, not only in eternity, but in the here and now.
“I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free.” -Isaiah 44:22
The cost of grace is great, but we can tuck this treasure in our hearts and offer back 100% of ourselves to God in all we think, say, and do. On the field or off, all we give goes to Him.
Because you are loved, pursued and redeemed, Christ has made a way to create an entirely new life for you. Through the redemption of Christ, our old selves that were smeared with selfishness, stubbornness, and pride have been discarded, with a new self in place. Christ in us empowers us to begin again, daily—hourly, if need be—and experience a new way of thinking and living with Him.
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! -2 Corinthians 5:17
We’ve traded in our old life for the new. This life is filled with adventure, mystery, abundance, and more than we could imagine. The world rusts and fades, but as we know God deeper, our spirits renew and grow brighter with Christ’s light. Our hope in Him gives us the extra encouragement we need to walk with Him every day and see what He has in store. With God as our companion on the journey, why should we settle for anything less?
Think of this season as a time for new beginnings. It’s a time to take these four truths and believe them, then live them out in confidence that you are a beloved child of God and He is taking care of all your needs. We can trust His plans and ways are good, no matter where the next season leads.
Want to know more about what it means to be a new creation in Christ? Walk with us through The Four to discover just how much God cares for you. Visit The Four here.
Consider: Which of these truths resonates most with you? How can you remember this truth when you get discouraged?
Action: Who else needs to hear these truths today? Share some encouragement with a teammate or friend and let them know they are loved and redeemed.