Over a hundred million people tuned in last Sunday to watch Super Bowl 50. It is the biggest event in sports in the United States each year, and everything in the football season leads up to this one major event. And the teams that make it don’t get to the Super Bowl on accident; they have trained and practiced hard for years to get themselves ready for the big day. What each member of the team does leading up to the Super Bowl matters during the game.
Just like football teams have the Super Bowl as a goal to look forward to we as Christians have a big day coming up when we leave this life and enter into God’s Kingdom. This life we have on Earth is just temporary; the Bible says that it’s like a vapor, here one day and gone the next. And there will come a day when every one of us has finished our lives.
For those of us who believed in who Christ is and what He has done, that is when we’ll find our place in the Kingdom of God. 1 Peter 1:17 says, “… [God] will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as ‘temporary residents.’” Remember that this doesn’t mean we get to God’s Kingdom by working to earn God’s favor. Christ has done the work for us, so all we have to do is trust in Him. There is nothing we can do to get to heaven on our own. But God has given His children a purpose and a mission. Like a football team preparing for the Super Bowl, we need to train and discipline ourselves so that when the big day comes, we have done what God has set out for us to do.
It won’t always be easy. We will all face challenges along the way. The author of Hebrews tells us in Hebrews 1:1-4 how to endure through any obstacle: “And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.” Jesus endured through taunts, abuse, accusations, temptations, and an incredibly painful death so that we could live with Him for all of eternity. He knows what it is like to have troubles. By focusing our eyes on Him, we can keep our eyes on who God says we are, not what “they” said or what our circumstances say.
Whenever you are struggling with endurance or staying focused, read through 1 Peter 1. Let God remind you of who you are in Him. Ware working together as the Church for the purpose that God has given to us for our lives, which is to show the rest of the world His goodness and grace. Remember, the best is still yet to come!