What is hope?
As coaches and athletes, we hope for a lot of things. We hope we’ll win the game, and that all the drills, training, practice and technique will come together on game day. We hope to perform at our best when it really counts.
The word hope in sports, however, is passive and uncertain. We can only hope all aspects of our performance will come together because we don’t truly know. We’d rather have confidence, which gives us the edge we need to get in the game and perform at our best. Even then we can’t know exactly the outcome, so we muster up a bravado of confidence, cross our fingers and hope for the best result.
Hope can be a scary concept because you can only hope for something that you don’t have or see. As Paul writes in Romans 8:24-25, “If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.” How is it possible to wait patiently and confidently for something we don’t yet have or know we’ll get?
We read passages like Romans 5:3-5 where, in summary, Paul says that we can rejoice (be happy) when we run into problems and trials because ultimately, they lead us to hope. And here’s the kicker: “this hope will not lead to disappointment.”
How many times have we hoped for something but found ourselves disappointed? How many times have we tried to reason that disappointment away, thinking, “Well, it wasn’t in God’s will for me to win this race”?
That’s why hope is so scary. It’s uncertain and carries with it the potential for disappointment. But the Word of God encourages us again and again to hope. If (1) I believe that the Bible is true, accurate, God-inspired and without fault or contradiction and (2) a point like Romans 5:3-5 is in the Bible, then the statement has to be true and worth looking into.
“... this hope will not lead to disappointment.”
-Romans 5:5The Bible provides us with a much stronger brand of hope. Hope in the Bible is more than a want or feeling, and it’s not wishful thinking. It’s a person, place or event that we wait for and look forward to with confidence, no matter how long it takes.
The hope of the Bible is the strong, trustworthy, constantly flowing, always available fuel for our faith. So, how can we know for sure that something is coming? When it’s backed by:
God’s promise and oath (Heb. 6:18)
God’s character in that He cannot lie (Titus 1:2) and makes everything work out according to His plan. (Eph. 1:11), and
Confident hope means to trust God, and God rewards our trust in Him with joy and peace from the Holy Spirit. God is both the reason and source of our confident hope. He gives hope to us by His grace, through Jesus, according to His promise.
Jesus Christ is our hope.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we have confident hope which is founded on something substantial and can carry that hope back into our sport. We can have confidence that we will show up and perform well because we have put in the work, trusted our coach and taken the steps we know to be right. We can stand on the line ready to give our all and give Christ the glory.
One way to open your heart and Pursue Life is with FCA’s The CORE. Get eight essentials to strengthen your faith and grow in your relationship with Christ, and then put it into action to disciple others.
Want to learn more about pursuing life and growing your relationship with God? Head to FCA in Action and read our April Pursue articles:
Anchor Article: Be Honest: Open Your Heart
Answer the Knock: Open Your Heart to God
Get Real: Open Your Heart to Yourself
*If you read this article and aren’t in relationship with Christ yet but would like to know more, we invite you to go through FCA’s The FOUR that explains how an everlasting and fulfilling life with God is possible.
About The Author:
Shanta Crichlow serves as the FCA Campus Director at Georgia Tech. She attended Georgia Tech as a full-scholarship athlete in track and field. She was part of the FCA ministry there where she was able to cultivate her relationship with Christ while managing the load of school and sports. Shanta resides in Smyrna, GA with her husband, Avid, and two daughters Amani and Alana.
Connect with her at firstname.lastname@example.org and get involved with her ministry and support Georgia Tech FCA HERE.
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