As long as we stay in the spectator area of any competition, we remain safe from injury, embarrassment, and performance mistakes. But if competitors aim for safety, they avoid the joy of competition and reward of victory. Competitors take risks because they crave the joy of competition more than they do the fear of losing.
God’s champions are big dreamers. Champions expect to win, but they also expect to fight for their victories. This is what separated Caleb and Joshua from the other spies. All 12 spies realized in order to enjoy the promised land they must fight for the prize. But not all 12 saw the fight the same way. Caleb and Joshua saw a big opportunity, while the other spies saw a major problem. If we must fight to win, is that a problem or an opportunity?
Of course, the most critical fight ever was fought on a cross. Jesus Christ knew he was in for a fight when he chose to sacrifice his life for us. But he didn’t see this fight as a big issue. Instead, he saw his fight against evil as the opportunity to win the greatest battle the world would ever know. His decision to step into that arena is why we can freely live today as his competitors and become champions.
“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.” – Hebrews 12:2 NLT
Ask yourself: How do you see adversity in your life as a problem, or as an opportunity?
Who has made the greatest impact on your life in terms of their willingness to fight through adversity? Discuss with a friend.
Write out Hebrews 12:1-2 on a notecard, or take a picture and set it as your phone wallpaper so you see it every day. Read the verses this week every morning, each night before bed, and every time you encounter adversity.
How has a competitor’s response to adversity gotten your attention? Discuss with a friend.