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How is it possible to know who the Lord was “pulling for” in the title tilt? I mean, unless you’re a hyper-Calvinist, it seems to be murky as to which sidelines owned God’s divine favor.
The entire argument is subjective, and the theology that upholds such speculation is damaging. It’s harmful to the fame of God as the unregenerate community scoffs at subjective theological emotionalism. If our unbelieving culture is going to trip over us, let the stumbling stone be a cross, not a football.
It’s also damaging to hurting individuals who always find themselves on the “Alabama bench,” staring at defeat. Recently, I was talking to a dear friend who has a life debilitating health problem. Bed-ridden, home-ridden, and pain-ridden pretty much sums up her life.
Her kind of pain and unmitigated suffering is hard for most of us to comprehend. It most certainly is hard for me to grasp. She has spent most of her adult life on the “Alabama bench,” watching the victors enjoy health, wealth, and happy endings.
Her battle is much tougher than mine. Each day she has to talk her soul into believing that God is love and He loves her. The battle is so fierce that unfounded silly subjective statements about God’s preference for football games toss her into battle with her soul. Again!
Whenever a sports figure talks about how God wanted them to win, I instinctively think about the losers.
I know you love me and you love them too. I’m thankful for the opportunity to play in this game, and I rejoice in the good outcome for the other team. I know that only one team can win and I’m okay with us losing this one. Though it is hard, I accept it, and I rejoice in their victory.
Mature Football Loser
I doubt anyone from the Alabama team prayed that way. Imagine how hard it is to pray that way about something that is crucial. Perhaps you can examine yourself. How do you respond when you’re on the losing end of life? Here are a few hypothetical examples:
Perhaps you don’t struggle with God’s immeasurable love for you, especially when life does not make sense. When the bottom falls out, there is no hope for recovery. If so, you’re one of the rare ones.
Jesus struggled with His death sentence. So did Job and many other people in the Bible who had problems juxtaposing the love of God with the problem of evil, especially when the evil knocked on their doors.
If you find yourself perpetually sitting on the Alabama sideline and you wonder if God loves you, here are six things I want you to consider.
If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.
Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:31-39).
Did God want Clemson to win? I honestly don’t know God’s mind when it comes to football. What I do know is there are winners and losers in life. If you are a winner, I have one piece of advice for you: remember the losers. Whatever blessing you receive, it is because the Lord allowed it.
For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it (1 Corinthians 4:7)?
Rick launched the Life Over Coffee global training network in 2008 to bring hope and help for you and others by creating resources that spark conversations for transformation. His primary responsibilities are resource creation and leadership development, which he does through speaking, writing, podcasting, and educating.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology and, in 1991, a BS in Education. In 1993, he received his ordination into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).