The World Cup fever is on and many are spending their days living through high and low emotional moments. Each country has a loyal fanbase that experiences an array of emotions throughout the game. But as bystanders, no one feels the stress and pressure of the game as the actual players.
Each team prides itself with performing at the highest level and advancing the furthest it can, in order to please their countries and fans. Games happen each day, and with each game we have a winner and a loser. Both teams will look back at the game and see what was done right and what could’ve been done better. For many who are on the losing side of a game, questions and anxiety remain because of the missed chances and failed opportunities that happened during the game.
The beauty of sports is that there are chances to right the wrongs and perform better, in the next match/game. However, the down side of the World Cup is that each team only has a few opportunities for second chances, which makes each game incredibly important, especially once the tournament goes into single elimination.
For a soccer player, the pressure to be perfect and play at one's best is felt in every game, whether when playing in the playground or on the world stage. In a similar way, we can say that the pressure to “perform” and “be perfect” is felt by many today in their daily lives. Whether that is at work - being the best employee and team member, or at home - being the best mom or husband, or in school - being the best student or teacher.
Daily we strive to be the best and to seize the opportunities that we are given. But let’s be honest, how successful are we? Especially when we try to live up to the worlds standard of perfection, while adding our Christian duty and responsibility.
It can seem insurmountable and impossible to accomplish, especially when we think of Gods ever-presence among us and watching our every move - talk about pressure to perform!
Sadly, we mistake our role and find ourselves attempting to do everything ourselves, attempting to be perfect and amazing so that God can look down and smile with affirmation at our efforts. But the truth is that we of our own effort can’t be perfect, according to God’s standard, and we consistently fail when relying on our own strength and endurance (see Rom 3).
We need more. We need help.
As happens with multiple teams in the World Cup, star players - incredibly talented and skilled- cannot by themselves win the tournament. They desperately need a team and support. So in the same way, we desperately need of Gods help, daily. This is why what Lamentations 3:22-23 says is so crucial for us to understand! “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
God is great in faithfulness, meaning that He is faithful always, even when we are not perfect and are found faithless. Not only that but every single day, we are offered another opportunity, a second chance, to do what God has called us to do, with His strength and guidance. His love never ceases and His mercies never come to an end. With all the pressure of the world around us, we can trust that succeed or fail, God is on our side. And if God is for us, who can be against us? (Rom 8:31).
Sebastian Lopez has been involved with Enspire Productions since 2010. He is currently enrolled in the MDiv. program at the Andrews University Theological Seminary.