Monday, March 25, 2013

Hoping against all of the odds...

It looked like an impossible situation. 

Absolutely one without hope…  However, they clawed.  They fought.  They wouldn’t give up.  They continued to hope.  They believed.  And, against all odds - they won and won again.

I’m talking about an unknown school from Florida playing in the biggest basketball tournament of them all.  Most of us had to "Google" them to see what the letters on their jerseys even stood for.

(FGCU) Florida Gulf Coast University is a relatively small college located in Ft. Myers, Florida.  They only have been eligible to play in the NCAA tournament for two years.  When they warm up on the basketball court, they wear jeans and their jerseys – not even dressed appropriately for the games.

But, when they play, they are amazing.  They’ve been likened to the Harlem Globetrotters.  And, yesterday the FGCU Eagles became the first 15 seed in the 75-year history of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament to reach the Sweet 16!   Overcoming all odds, all brackets, and all of the naysayers, they won.

This team has hoped against hope!  They believed they could win, and they did.

Maybe you’re not a basketball fan, but most of us can relate to the “underdogs” in life.

Who doesn’t like to see the least likely team win?

But, sometimes we personally feel like we are the "underdogs."

We believe that things are just without any hope.

We’ve been praying…
We’ve been wishing...
We’ve been trying…
We’ve been continuing…
We’ve been waiting…

But nothing is happening.  God doesn’t seem to be coming through for us.  Our prayers are not being answered.  Our situation is not changing.

In fact, some days it feels like nothing is happening at all.  Where is God?  Does He see?  Is He aware?  Will He come through?

I read these verses today...

“God promised Abraham a lot of descendants. And when it all seemed hopeless,
Abraham still had faith in God and became the ancestor of many nations.  
Abraham’s faith never became weak, not even when he was nearly a hundred years old. 
He knew that he was almost dead and that his wife Sarah could not have children.  
But Abraham never doubted or questioned God’s promise. His faith made him strong, and he gave all the credit to God. 
Abraham was certain that God could do what he had promised.”  
(Romans 4:18-21, CEV)
~ When it all seemed hopeless…
~ Against all of the odds…
~ When there was nothing left to hope for…
~ When he was beyond hope…

Abraham hoped.  He didn’t stop believing.  He didn’t give up.


He believed God would do what He said He would do.

He trusted God – even when there was no hope.

How do we do this?

We HOPE in our great God.

HOW do we do this?


H = Hear the Word.  Keep reading the Word.  Keep thinking on the Word.  Stay in church.  Keep listening and reading things that point you to Jesus.  Turn on Christian music.  Soak your mind, your heart, and your life with God’s Word right now. 

O = Obey the Word.  Do all you know to do.  Do the next thing and the next thing.  Don’t quit.  Don’t give up.  As God leads you to act, act. When He leads you to wait, wait.

P = Partner with some other believers who will encourage your faith and give you hope.  Meet for lunch, coffee, or for a walk.  Email them, text them, call them.  Find some godly people who will encourage you to keep going.

E = Enjoy what you have and where you are right now.  Find something to thank God for.  Praise Him because He is amazing – even when your life is not!  I dare you to turn on your favorite music or song and sing at the top of your lungs today!

Hope against hope.  Teams do it.  Companies do it.  Kids do it.  Old patriarchs like Abraham did it.

We can do it too.

Today, no matter how bleak your situation may appear to be, keep in mind that your great God is on the job.  He is closely behind the scenes working out the details for you.

You may not see Him, feel Him, sense Him, or be aware of Him in any way; however, He promises us: 

I will never leave you or abandon you.”  (Hebrews 13:5)