“Come on! You can do it!” That’s me. Shouting at the television screen again.
My husband shakes his head and grins, marveling at my naivete.
I grin back and remind him that “It’s not over ’til it’s over.”
You see, I’m one of those people who believes that an underdog team can come back to win. Even if it’s in the last few seconds of the game. Even if it looks hopeless.
Because, no matter what the odds are, miracles DO happen!
And I wonder why this sort of optimism and confidence is so hard to consistently apply to my own life.
After all, I believe the promises. I do. I read the scriptures and see where Jesus healed the sick and raised the dead and walked on water and I know I can put my trust in the Maker of Miracles.
2 Corinthians 12:9a
But if I’m not careful, I start focusing on my imperfections instead of His perfection. Seeing my weakness instead of His strength. And, before you know it, I’m fearing the wind and sinking in waves of insecurity.
Just like Peter. The ultimate underdog. The disciple who was as famous for his bold faith as he was for his epic failures.
Once known as Simon, it was Jesus himself who changed his name to Peter, meaning “Rock”. When Jesus declared, “On this rock I will build my church,” it was an acknowledgment of Peter’s extraordinary faith. Wow!
However, even though he was the only one of the disciples who was courageous enough to get out of the boat and attempt walking on the water, he was overwhelmed by the storm and his bold burst of faith was soon drowning in a downpour of fear.
Peter certainly knew the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. His story is full of ups and downs, just like ours. But, the thing is, he never gave up. He was quick to repent of his sins and learn from his mistakes. He pressed on. He persevered.
Maybe that’s because he had walked with Jesus. He wasn’t perfect but, each and every time he stumbled, he stumbled into grace. So he kept going. And he kept growing.
Compassion cultivates confidence. When someone else believes in us, we find it easier to believe in ourselves. And we don’t worry so much about our own sufficiency when we know that HIS grace IS sufficient. Like Peter, we just keep going because we know that God will never give up on us.
So let’s not give up on ourselves. After all, “If God is for us who can be against us? (Romans 8:31b)”
He is able to coach us all the way to victory. And when we listen close, we can hear the roar of the crowd, all of heaven cheering us on. How can we not join the rallying cry of all the saints who have gone before us?
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6