UNPACK this…For College Basketball Fans

Day 4 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Survive and Advance

During the NCAA Tournament, we often hear winning coaches and players say something like this in postgame interviews: “We survive and advance” or “We live to see another day.” Many of these games are tight and both teams are in a position to win, but one must hang on and persevere to victory.
 
The winning teams do what is necessary to survive the tight defense, the missed shots and the intense pressure, and when they do, they advance to face their next opponent. 
 
Teams must love the easiness of a blowout victory, but the gratefulness, relief, and appreciation that come from winning a close game shine through when they say, “We live to see another day.”

We, too, can end up in scenarios where we face trials, uncertainty, and temptation, and desire to “survive and advance.” Sometimes situations get really tight with health or finances or finishing the work load. But, when we decide to persevere instead of give up, we make it through to the next challenge and can say, “I live to see another day.”

The NCAA Tournament is won by taking one game at a time, and the team that handles adversity well and endures the challenges keeps winning. The Bible says, “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

When we follow Jesus we have an advantage, because we know He is showing us the way to “survive and advance” in this life. Our character grows and the gospel advances as we trust and rejoice through each time of suffering and testing.
 
Today, let’s remember that Jesus died and endured the cross in ultimate suffering so you and I could “live to see another day.” I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to die on the cross for me. Help me to recognize the suffering He went through for me. Thank You that no matter what trial I face, I can trust You to help me survive and advance. Please give me the strength to endure and rejoice in sufferings. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.