The minister at the church I'm apart of asked me to write a short article that would appear in our weekly bulletin today. His sermon today was about standing firm. Here is the article that I wrote:
I remember sitting on my couch last October nervously watching the St. Louis Cardinals play the Texas Rangers in Game 6 of the World Series. If the Rangers won Game 6, they were World Series champs. If the Cardinals won, the series would extend to a seventh and deciding game. In the bottom of the ninth, the Cardinals were down to their last strike when third baseman David Freese hit a two run triple to the tie the game and send it to extra innings. The Rangers went ahead again in the tenth inning. In the bottom of the tenth, again the Cardinals were down to their last strike when outfielder Lance Berkman hit an RBI single to tie the game. The Cardinals went on to win the game on a walk off homer by David Freese in the 11th inning and later won Game 7 to win their eleventh World Series championship.
Those players who were in the batter’s box with a two strike count, the tens of thousands of fans in the stands, and the millions watching at home didn’t know that the Cardinals would be able to pull off the victory. Despite that uncertainty of the outcome, the players showed excellence under pressure and ended up winning the game.
In our spiritual lives, sometimes we may feel the pressure of being faithful in the face of trial. Will we fail faced with what we see as insurmountable temptation or unbearable trials? In 1 Corinthians 15:58, Paul writes “[t]herefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain”. What is the “therefore” Paul refers to? In the previous verse of that chapter, Paul writes , “ [b]ut thanks be to God! He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”. Why can we stand firm and remain unmoved? Because the victory has already been won. No matter how insurmountable the trial or difficult the temptation, the ultimate victory has already been won. Paul instructs us to stand firm and let nothing move us. The things we face that try to move us are very real and challenging, but we can stand firm knowing that we can thank God for already providing the victory.Here's a clip of the baseball heroics I referenced:
Of course, the victory through Christ is far greater than any athletic victory, electoral win, or personal achievement of any kind. It is an eternal victory that has already been won. This is something I try to remind myself constantly, but due to my imperfections and misplaced perspective often do not take to heart in the way I should. However, the verses I referenced can be a great encouragement that God is greater than any temptation or trial.