Core scripture: “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13)
Message: I balked at the opportunity at first, then I took it. After two weeks of coaching my son’s 4th grade basketball team, I must say I am glad I stepped up. Nobody else would do it, and I have enjoyed it immensely. It has been since 2013 since I coached anything, and it feels good to be back on the playing field.
My little team, having never played together before this year, has been through a roller coaster of emotions so far. Our first game was beyond memorable. We were up 11-10 as the clock wound down to the closing seconds. One of my poor kids fouled the opposing player as he hoisted up a last second shot that missed, giving the other team two free throws with no time on the clock. The first one missed. So did the second! Our team rejoiced in celebration!
Riding high off that first win, we entered our second game on Saturday slightly overconfident. It was a slaughterhouse. The other team scored at will, destroying us 35-2. My son was in tears, refusing to go back into the game. Other teammates were begging me to forfeit. We never quit, but by the game’s end my players were demoralized, leaving me wondering how we could recover from the shellacking.
Driving home I tried to console my son. You win some, you lose some. Paul knew that. He clearly states that he has learned to be content through a power known as the Holy Spirit. That power propels him through the good days and the bad. It makes me wonder … Can I live my life the same way? Can I praise God through remote teaching, through hybrid? On my own, that would be a resounding no, but my life verse, Philippians 4:13, says otherwise.
Can I come clean to you all? Today feels discouraging to me. Not sure what it is, but it was just hard to get out of bed. I want to praise God. I really do. It is just hard. I need to be a Paul. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that I can live that way. I must humble myself and submit to God, crying out that only He can get me through the day.
Whatever you are going through, whether life is good or bad, let God work His magic inside you. He can do it. Nothing is too big for Him to conquer.
Challenge: Are you able to praise God no matter what the circumstance? Whether teaching is good or bad, the Lord is with you. Let His Word give you hope.
Prayer points: Lift the following areas up to the Lord this week:
- Pray that you can find hidden blessings amidst difficult times.
- Praise God for those hidden blessings.
Song application: “Blessed Be Your Name” by Matt Redman
Prayer: Lord, help me be grateful no matter what. Whether it is a good day or bad, I know You are worthy of praise. Amen.