At the time of this writing, the USA leads so far in the medal count at the 2012 Olympics with 41 gold, 26 silver and 28 bronze, a total of 95 medals so far.
If you have been watching the Olympics at all then you know that all great athletes have a coach. You often see them standing off to the side of the event giving encouragement and instruction to their athlete student. Or in the case of the rowing competition, they are the folks you see on the shoreline in the background, riding bicycles along the route of the race. My point is simply this, champions don’t just suddenly pop up. They are the product of a thousand invisible times with their coach. When others are off doing whatever, the champion is faithfully spending time listening to and learning from their coach. Taking the time to practice, practice, practice and then practice some more. No shortcuts. No fast tracks. A long, hard and tedious road is what they have been travelling on to get them to where they are, representing their country at an Olympic event.
That’s exactly how it is with Jesus and our Christian lives. Jesus never said that the road that He is on, and subsequently you, if you are one of His followers, is a road paved with rose pedals and ease. As a matter of fact He stated quite the opposite.
“In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart;
I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.
If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
Remember the word that I said to you:
‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me,
they will also persecute you.” John 15:18–20
Jesus didn’t ask Peter to simply follow Him sight unseen. His coaching began with building trust with Peter. We see Jesus hanging out with him before He ever asks him to do anything. We see them together in Peter’s house, Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law, we see Jesus partnering with Jesus in ministry long before Peter ever preaches 1 sermon. Jesus, ever the consummate spiritual coach, developed Peter over a
period of three years into a spiritual leader. Jesus desires to do the same with us today. And not only that, but He intends for us to coach others if we’ll follow His pattern.
If I could leave you with one truth that you could take to the bank it would simple be this: Your source of strength and victory in life is not determined by your own strength and effort; it is a thousand times with your Coach that no one ever sees. It is the times of private prayer and study in God’s Word that will sustain you in the dark times, in the hard times. So who is your coach? Who is standing on the sidelines cheering you on? Well you can find no one more qualified than your Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ.