Saturday, August 4, 2012

You really can have Olympic-size faith

Yes, that’s our son, Jake, holding the official torch for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California. During our rodeo travels that summer, we met the cross-country entourage in Oregon at a mountain summit café during breakfast. They graciously let Jake hold the torch for pictures.

This year as I watch the Summer Olympics in London, I’m amazed again by the athletes’ focused dedication and training. All of them struggle against pain and discouragement, yet they press on relentlessly toward their dreams.

What a perfect picture of our spiritual life. We, too, are called to a training regimen. (I Tim. 4:7 NIV)

Personally, I’m more inclined to cruise along thinking everything is going to work out with little effort on my part—until I run up against an athletic phrase that tells me otherwise.

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize …” (Phil 3:14 NIV).

I’m even told to exercise my faith.

“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling …” (Phil. 2:12 NKJ).

That verse isn’t talking about salvation by works; it’s talking about working out—exercising, using those faith muscles to build up our spiritual strength.

Do you sense the dedication, feel the strain?

Thank God, I don’t have to do it on my own. He who created man with the incredible potential for athletic prowess has Himself promised to help me in my weakness.

“For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13 NKJ).

That sounds like a win-win to me!

A 1984 Summer Olympics torch runner in Oregon.

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