We hear it so often in sports. A kicker makes a pressure-packed field goal as time expires to win the game and, when interviewed, says, “I had faith in my teammates to give me the time I needed to get the kick off.” Or a pitcher throws a great game, racking up strikeout after strikeout and says, “I just had faith in my stuff tonight. I just knew I had them.” Or a soccer team wins a key match against a bitter rival, and the players rave, “Our coaches gave us a good plan of attack, and we had faith it would work.” It seems that, wherever you turn, faith is being mentioned as an important element in success on the field.
But what is faith? And where is it to be placed? According to the Bible, faith is “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is confident trust in something or someone—but who or what? In the things that matter most, we will eventually be disappointed (or worse) if we place that faith in ourselves or in others. None of us are able to live up to the expectations, demands, or needs that faith calls us to believe in or trust for. Only our Creator is capable of truly fulfilling the deepest needs of the human heart—and only He is trustworthy enough to be given our deepest trust. Paul wrote:
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
We exercise faith in dozens of ways every single day—but in the matters of life, death, and eternity, there is only one place to put our faith: In the cross of Christ and His loving provision.
Bill Crowder, Sports Spectrum Chaplain