Friday, June 10, 2011

Are Christians like sports fans?

Vancouver, where I live, is in the middle of hockey fever; the Vancouver Canucks haven’t made it to the final round of the Stanley Cup since 1994. They have never won the Cup. Although I’m not a hockey fan during the regular season, I am caught up in the excitement and energy that goes along with the playoffs. I cheer and jeer at appropriate intervals and I love the bravado amongst fans from both teams.

What troubles me is how quickly Vancouver fans turn on the team that represents us when they are not playing better than the other team. Most of the criticism is directed at Roberto Luongo, the goalie. Jokes are told at his expense, his salary is questioned and people wonder if he should even be playing in the series. 

Many Christians react to God like sports fans. When God is blessing us or He performs a miracle on our behalf we enthusiastically and spontaneously give praise. We cheer God. We love God and express it eagerly. But when things aren’t going so well, we jeer God. We’re quick to criticize and judge. We’re what you might call fickle.
The antidote for fickle is faith. Canucks fans around the city are proclaiming, “We believe”. Really? What is the belief, that the Canucks have the skill to win, or that they will win? If it’s the latter, isn’t that hope without a foundation? Similar to hoping you’ll win the lottery. 

Faith that has substance can only be found in God, even when circumstances are not going well. Anything less does not give hope a platform on which to stand. It takes faith, grounded in God, to believe in spite of how the situation appears that will make a difference in our outlook. Is it any wonder then that faith is such a valued commodity in heaven?

A few years ago, my parents moved to the West Coast. It was a big move for them at their stage of life and it was preceded by a lot of prayer. In their petition, they asked the Father for confirmation for a job offer for my dad from a particular company. God answered them exactly as they asked. Not long after they settled into their new home, my dad discovered the job he had prayed for, the one that confirmed God’s direction for their lives, was not turning out to be what he had originally thought. 

My dad went through a series of jobs and companies before finding a job that seemed to be a great fit. During that period of time, my parents questioned whether they had heard God correctly. I reminded them that God has answered their prayer exactly as they had requested and to keep believing that God will bring his word to pass. 

The Bible tells us that the word of the Lord will not return void, without accomplishing the task it was sent. God will do it, but we must have faith to believe.

Are you in a season of testing? Are circumstances in your life tempting you to jeer God and blame Him for not performing? If you’ve passed through a season like that, how did faith act as a guiding light for you? Please share your story in the comments.
Go Canucks! We Believe

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