Life is Better When You Know the Final Score

There seems to be an epidemic of discouragement! Countless people who worry about the final score and wonder if they should just walk away. Don't give up!

As I walked upstairs the other night, Rev was rewatching the Ohio State vs Penn State football game. We’d watched it live but he just couldn’t get enough, saying “I think it’s, even more, fun watching it again.”

Now, if you’re a Penn State fan, I want you to know we think your team is amazing, your coach is a class act, and we normally cheer a Penn State victory … except when they play the Buckeyes.

Why am I talking about football?

Because I want to talk about discouragement.

You see, we went into that game nervous. Penn State was undefeated and ranked #2. We knew it would be one of the toughest games of the season.

So, we queued it up and…

Penn State’s Heisman candidate ran the kickoff back for a 97-yard touchdown run and then just a couple of plays later another player took the ball away from the OSU offense and scored again.

It looked like it was going to be worse than we thought and I couldn’t watch.

I was discouraged!

I walked away – choosing to do something else in my office.

But by the end of the half, the Buckeyes had scored a couple of time and although they were still losing it looked like a ballgame.

So, I returned to the family with my iPad in hand. I couldn’t give the game my full attention because although I was no longer without hope … I didn’t believe. I’d look up for instant replays if something good happened and kept myself distracted when it didn’t.

But then the fourth quarter started and there seemed to be a momentum shift. Our quarterback was hitting his targets and the receivers were delivering.

I set my iPad aside and gave my full attention to every play. Cheering and growing more and more hopeful. Until the final few minutes of the game, when Rev and I were on our feet like the kids in stands jumping up and down amazed at and excited at what was taking place.

An upset. Victory out of defeat.

An analogy for life.

It’s so easy for me to get discouraged and want to walk away.

I hear it every day, from moms, dads, and their kids. I hear it from bloggers, from spouses, from employees and business owners. Different ages, backgrounds, ethnicity, etc. It doesn’t matter.

There seems to be an epidemic of discouragement!

Countless people who feel like they can’t possibly win and wonder if they should just walk away.

But when we walk away, we guarantee defeat.

Read that again.

When we walk away, we guarantee defeat!

If it had been up to me, the Buckeyes would not have won that game. I almost let discouragement win.

And I wonder how many times in my life I’ve been guilty of giving up hope too quickly? How many times have I let discouragement defeat me?

Maybe you can relate!

There seems to be an epidemic of discouragement! Don't give up!

Friend — you and I don’t have to give in to discouragement.

I’ll be honest with you. You and I are going to feel discouraged sometimes. Life is hard. Bad things happen and we are living at a time when it feels like it’s getting hard to catch our breath as we hear about or experience one crisis after another.

But when you know the end – it changes everything. I think that’s why Rev said he was having, even more, fun watching the game the second time. He knew who won!

WE KNOW WHO WON!

Jesus won the victory over our discouragement. We know the end of the game!

Look at this promise from Revelation 21:

 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among His people! He will live with them, and they will be His people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then He said to me, [John] “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And He also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children. v. 3—7

That’s our future! And the best part…

Life is Better When You Know the Final Score by Deb Wolf at Counting My Blessings

It’s not the end. It’s just the beginning.

But if you’re like me, sometimes the days of discouragement and heartache here seem long and lonely. It’s hard to stay focused on eternity when today hurts.

It’s why God didn’t just make promises from heaven but sent Jesus to live in this evil filled world with us. And not just live in the evil but defeat it!

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Jesus knows our struggle. He lived it! More important — He overcame it!

For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me. I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark. John 12:45–46

We can trust Jesus. We have His Spirit … His light to fill our darkness and give us hope.

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” John 14:1–3

And when the journey gets discouraging, remember … Jesus is just getting things ready for you and me.

He’s coming back to take us home to celebrate the victory with Him forever.

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16 comments

  1. Martha Orlando
    Twitter:
    says:

    The football analogy is absolutely perfect here, Deb. I can certainly relate as we are big Georgia fans who are thrilled the team is ranked at #2 right now. Haven’t been that good in ages!
    And yes, if we walk away, we are inviting discouragement in a situation. We must always hold out hope because the Great Encourager has already won the victory for us. Let us live in Him and for Him.
    Blessings!
    Martha Orlando recently posted..Magic and Memorable MomentsMy Profile

  2. Sellenee
    Twitter:
    says:

    I so needed to hear this today! It’s Wednesday and I definitely put too much on my to do list and was feeling very discouraged this morning. Thanks for helping me to see that I need to keep going and not give up. Even if I don’t complete everything something is all God’s looking for. 🙂

  3. bluecottonmemory says:

    You watch football games just like I do! LOL Your analogy made me smile! I didn’t learn into my mid-twenties that my salvation was assured – that my place at the table was secure. Your art and quote made me smile – but I rejoice in the knowledge that the ending is assured! Shalom, Deb! I love how God had love letters for us in everything!

  4. Kim
    Twitter:
    says:

    Deb,
    Thank you for sharing this post. It seems that I frequently struggle with discouragement. Clearly, I’ve taken my eyes off the Lord when that happens. Great analogy about football and life! By the way, I’m an Iowa fan–way back in the 80s they had a strong team and were number 1 in the nation for a time. They were the underdog going into the game with Michigan and they won!

    Better than any team winning is knowing that those of us who have Jesus as Savior and Lord are already on the winning “team”!

    Blessings,

    Kim
    Kim recently posted..Clergy Appreciation Month: Continuing Our AppreciationMy Profile

  5. Connie Ong says:

    Although I don’t know much about football- I loved the analogy. What an uplifting and very needed post. Really loved each and every verse- A great reminder not to give up hope because HE has already won the victory- even though at times it looks like things are hopeless– we know different!!!

    Thank you for this inspiring post.

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