by Shannon Caughey
Do you ever feel like you can’t win? In some games or competitions, Murphy’s Law seems to prevail: if anything can go wrong, it does. Or maybe your team is decimated by an unusual amount of injuries. Perhaps it seems like your athletes can never catch a break.
This temptation to feel like you can’t win can spill over into life more broadly. There are times when it seems like things are aligned against your efforts to live and coach for Jesus. Some days the spiritual battle and the attacks of the enemy feel especially intense. Maybe you wonder how it’s possible to stay strong when so many voices in our culture promote sin and undermine what God makes clear in his Word.
How do you respond when you’re tempted to feel like you can’t win? Return to the truths we find in the Bible, including the much-loved chapter that is the focus of this series of devotions: Romans 8. Here’s what we’ve already seen from Romans 8: When we respond in faith to Jesus, we are free from condemnation, our mindset is transformed, we are secure in being a member of God’s family, and we are confident in God’s work even when facing difficult situations.
God through Romans 8 also tells us this: we are victorious. Romans 8:31-32 declares, “31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?”
No matter what our circumstances, we can stand firm in being victorious rather than giving into the perspective that says, “I can’t win.” Here’s why:
1. God is for us.
The “if” in the phrase “If God is for us” is not intended to communicate that this is up for debate. Rather, the Apostle Paul is saying, “Because God is for us….” How do we know this is the case? The cross of Jesus Christ (v. 32): “Since he did not spare even his own Son….” What God already did in sacrificing his own Son Jesus demonstrates definitively that he is for us. Because our faith in Jesus puts us on God’s side, no enemy or adversity can overcome us. As someone put it, “When it’s you and God, you are always in the majority.” We are victorious in any situation because God is for us.
2. God gives us everything we need.
God’s willingness to sacrifice his own Son also assures us of this: he will give us everything else we need. This is not some “prosperity gospel,” promising material blessings and an endless supply of all-star athletes to ensure our competitive success. Paul is speaking to what is far more significant: our spiritual needs. Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection already addressed our deepest need. Through faith in Jesus, we are rescued from our sin and restored to life with God that is for all eternity. Now we can trust God to continue to give us everything we need in order to be and do all he wants us to be and do. Even on our hardest days, we can stand firm in God’s provision. We are victorious in every circumstance because God gives us everything we need.
Being a Romans 8 coach leads to this: Instead of thinking, “I can’t win,” rejoice in knowing, “I can’t lose.” When your faith is in Jesus, you are victorious in what ultimately matters in every situation. God is for you, and he gives you everything you need. Stand firm in this victory.
For reflection: Take a few minutes to praise God for the truths of Romans 8:31-32—“If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?” Ask the Lord to help you stand firm in this victory that you have in Christ.