Growing up near Chicago has made me a Chicago sports fan. I root for the Bears, the Bulls, and the Cubs. Over the years, there has been some joy (think 1985 and the Bulls dynasty), but mostly disappointment (think Cubs).
The Bears entered this season with so much promise. Yet, things have spiraled downwards in a big way. Not only are they out of the playoffs, but their team is a mess. Their coaches are under fire. One sportswriter called the Bears organization “dysfunctional.” Another sportswriter said that the organization is in a “Free-Fall” right now. The players seem to have no vision or direction or interest in playing the game. They play as if they have no hope. When one has no hope, it is hard to play with passion and enthusiasm. It is difficult to press through the difficulties.
Some of us at Rock Valley Bible Church are working at memorizing Desiring God’s weekly Fighter Verses. The verse for this week is 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” In the previous context, Paul had been talking about the ultimate hope for the believer in Jesus Christ: a changed body that will be raised imperishable to inherit the kingdom of God. And in the verse quoted above, Paul urged those in Corinth to press on “in the work of the Lord” because the victory has been given to us through Jesus Christ (verse 57).
Those who have such an eternal hope should live with enthusiasm and joy, even through the discouragements and challenges that come about living in a sin-cursed world.
… Just watch how passionately the Packers play this weekend. They have hope.