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Why Athletes Can Lose and Still Thank God

Most athletes believe that god/fate is on their side …. Indeed, when they win a championship, talk of "destiny" fills the postgame locker room. What must be confusing to these highly trained, well-paid professionals is when they lose the game. Does it mean that God doesn't like them, that he wasn't for them, that they weren't as special as they thought? Indeed, would any of them have the guts to admit they were destined to lose?

I'm sure many have noticed that we never hear athletes during the postgame interviews thank God for their loss. It seems the god of athletics only shows up when players win. But … [the apostle] Paul believed that the God of Israel delights in showing up in the midst of loss—the resurrection of Christ proves it. God turns losing into gain, death into life, sorrow into joy, weakness into strength, futility into glory ….

So I can imagine Paul throwing his arm around the athlete who's just lost the World Series [or the Super Bowl] and saying … "Son of Adam, life is a game and we're all destined to lose. Let's go celebrate the good news."

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