Did you know Olympic athletes estimate only 18% of their success is due to practice? (Bustle) There are other things at work than the 10,000 hours of deliberate training. (Outliers) Gold Medalist Shannon Miller shared her reason for success as an elite athlete,
“The physical aspect of the sport can only take you so far. The mental aspect has to kick in, especially when you’re talking about the best of the best. In the Olympic games everyone is talented. Everyone trains hard. What separates the gold medalists from the silver medalists is simply the mental game.”
What separates successful people from the rest is inner strength.
…And inner strength comes from hope in their abilities.
I don’t always have hope in my abilities.
He gave me inner strength to overcome addiction. God won that battle for me on the cross. Yet, I have to continue to fight this with God’s word. He gave me inner strength to get through 12 years of infertility.
God won that battle for me, for my family, again. He won it even before it began.
Yet, I still have to battle to bring my embryos home.
He is giving me inner strength to write to you now, to tell you of my failings and falling in love with Jesus. To tell you that I’m not victorious, He is. In my weakness, He is strong. He gives me hope to keep trying when everything seems distorted and misshapen like a fun house mirror.
I am writing to you from that place of warped figures and unrealized dreams.
Yet, I am still hopeful. I am hopeful because I believe what His Word has to say about me and you. My hope is the belief that things will turn out for the best because God is in charge.
Just like athletes consume the right food to excel, Christians need to take in the right diet to remain mentally strong.
The Chart is the Word of God. In there you will find the hope for spiritual success. Success God’s way looks nothing like how we view success. Peter wrote about having hope in God during suffering. In fact, He ends his letter to suffering Christians with words of hope,
“In His kindness God called you to His eternal glory by means of Jesus Christ. After you have suffered a little while, he will restore you, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. All power is His forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:10 (NLT)
In His Kindness…(His gracious favor- NIV)
You have been called!
Let’s focus on one part of God’s character, kindness.
1. God is…kind.
It’s his nature to be kind. We know God is kind from His word. His salvation for us is from His gracious kindness (1 Peter 1:10).
2. He called you.
He has called you to Hope. He has called to HOPE IN HIM despite your sin.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
He calls everyone that believes in Him to His eternal glory (John 3:16). No one is exempt. He loves everyone so completely that each drop of blood that flowed from the cross was for you and me. We all sin and fall short of His glorious standard (Romans 3:23), yet He made a way for us to be forgiven through His death and resurrection.
God is a loving, KIND God.
3. We will only suffer a little while.
Our suffering is temporary and light (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).
He sees the end and He won’t call you to a season of suffering without seeing you through it.
4. He will restore you.
He’s not done with your situation or you yet. He will move in His time (in a little while) on your behalf. Our trust is that He is moving even when it’s unseen.
“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16
Heart change is a bigger miracle than change in the natural. It takes a supernatural God to see us through the metamorphosis of our hearts.
5. He will support you
He will equip you and give you what you need, when you need it. He will hold you up.
“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
6. He will strengthen you.
He strengthens us with comfort. The more we suffer, the more comfort He pours out on us so we can comfort others. Jesus
“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. You can be sure that the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with His comfort through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:4-5
He will give you fortitude, perseverance, and mental stability. Our trials are building character in us.
7. He will place you on a firm foundation.
He is the foundation on which we stand. Jesus won’t fall apart when everything else does around you. Jesus is stable and fixed, grounded in grace and rooted in love.
Jesus is… Kind.
How does this apply to our daily trials? How do we have Hope when everything around us looks so wrong, so distorted?
Practical ways to have Hope in Today’s World:
1. Believe God’s word MORE than you believe the news.
2. Pray God’s word MORE than you pray about your problems.
3. Meditate on God’s word MORE than you meditate on Facebook or Football.
4. Take in God’s word MORE than you take in Politics, Propaganda.
5. Listen to God’s word MORE than others’ opinion about you.
6. Speak God’s word to others MORE than speaking negatively.
What is one way you can Hold onto the Hope in God’s word? How do you let it transform your mind so that you may live in the Hope He has called you to?
If you missed the first three posts in the Formidable series click below: