"Worship In Victory, Worship Harder In Trials"

Congratulations to the Villanova Wildcats on their victory last Monday evening!  It didn't look promising for the first couple minutes, but then all the preparation paid off as Villanova slowly rose to victory.  But, did you happen to catch the post-game interviews?  Check out a few of the player comments: 

"Everything that happens to me is a blessing man and, I'm incredibly blessed to be here and, I can't stress enough how blessed I am to be in the position that I am and that's all a credit to God."

Villanova guard: Omari Spellman

"My mom shoots me texts every day. Just saying how blessed you are and how humble to be around this, so definitely...she shoots me Bible verses. If you go through my phone there's a whole bunch." 

"It just keeps me level-headed you know. Just to know that there's someone higher out there.

- Villanova forward: Eric Paschall

"In the grand scheme of things, this is an amazing event that we're going to be remembered forever, but it's still a basketball game, just keeping faith always in mind always helps us keep perspective and keeps us humble and hungry."

- Villanova guard: Mike Kennedy

One of the things I've always loved about a post-game championship interview is hearing players giving all the glory to God.  At the pinnacle of it all, after the hours, days, and years of work that's been dedicated to preparing for the victory, a humble response giving it all to the one and only creator is awesome!  But, what about when you put all that time and dedication into something and fall short? What about the Michigan players? Perhaps you caught a story that aired several years ago on ESPN about Austin Hatch...

Austin Hatch has been dealt a pretty tough hand.  He is the survivor of two plane crashes (two!). The first cost him his mother, brother and sister.  That was back in 2003. Fast-forward to 2011 and the same thing happened only this time he lost his father and step-mother.  Hatch was so severely injured in that crash that he was left unable to walk. Through years of rehab, Austin made his way back to the court with an amazing testimony.

Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'

- Matthew 19: 26

Surely, it won't come as a surprise to you to hear the response Austin had to coming so close to achieving his dream of winning the NCAA men's basketball championship: 

"My faith has always been there. It's always going to be there, it's not going anywhere. And that's one thing that I've been able to really, really lean on in the midst of all that I've lost. And you'd think that your family is always going to be there, hopefully, they always will be. I've had to learn that the hard way that unfortunately that's not the case for everyone. But my faith will always be there man. Always."

- Michigan guard: Austin Hatch

I hope it's inspiring to see how the players of Villanova humbled themselves and gave the glory to God during their victory.  But, I hope it's even more inspiring to see a player with the trials of Austin give the glory to Christ.  I don't know what you're going through, maybe it's a great season in your life, or maybe you've gone through something more like Austin.  But, today, rejoice in the midst of whatever chaos you are dealing with.  God has you exactly where you are for a reason, you need only rejoice and trust in the Lord.  

Challenge:

1. No matter what, give thanks to the Lord today. 
2. Rejoice in your circumstances whether they are ideal or less than ideal. 
3. Pray for God to work through your season and build you in ways that you could never be built without what you are going through. 
 

Prayer

Father, thank you for the blessings in my life and thank you for the things that I don't understand.  Father, give me strength to see past my circumstances and know that no matter what, you are God and completely in control.  Help me to rejoice in all things, know that you are a good, good Father and you have great plans for me.  We love you, Lord. Amen

BY: TRAVIS CAREY