"It matters a great deal who is going to win, but not at all who won"
Paul’s recordRather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 2 Corinthians 6:4.5
In some sports statistics are very important – player averages, win streak, golf difference, greens in regulation etc. In 2 Corinthians 6, Paul seems to be giving us his ministry statistics.
He lists nine circumstances in which he has found himself. Some of them are beyond our experience but others are familiar in our daily life and sporting life. We have all known sleepless nights as we reflect on the day’s events, which have not gone as we would have liked them to – or in anticipation of a demanding day ahead.
We have needed endurance to keep going when we were exhausted. We have had to work hard and live through hard times. Illness, injury, lose of self-worth, disappointment with our performance or with the outcome are all part of life and sport.
There is no easy answer. Being a Christian does not make it all better! Paul urges the Corinthians not to receive God’s grace in vain. Does he mean that the secret of being able to cope with these challenges is receiving God’s grace?
Let us remember that whatever our circumstances God’s presence is with us and his grace is available to us.
Some of this is based on Howard Peskett, Encounter with God July 2010