Kentucky is college basketball country! It is no mistake that last year’s NCAA champion was from Lexington (Wildcats) and this year’s winner is, of course, from Louisville (Cardinals). Coaches Rick Pitino and John Calipari are probably the closest thing we have to real “celebrity status” here in Kentucky. If you followed the recent championship you will remember that Louisville came back from double-digit deficits in their last two games, both times pulling out a victory in the last ten minutes of the game. What inspired me was the way Rick Pitino talked to his players during the difficult period. Even when they were so far behind and the game seemed to be slipping away, he kept saying to his players, “You’re going to win this game!” One of the players remarked that he was losing hope, but when Pitino told him they were going to win he felt a renewed sense of hope and determination. (It also didn’t hurt that Pitino had promised to get a tattoo if they won the championship). Pitino didn’t mind pulling out his starters and putting in backups to get the job done. He was focused on winning the game and he never lost sight of that.
What a great lesson for all of us as Christian leaders. We need to keep our eye on the final victory which awaits us. The church needs to know that Jesus Christ is building his Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Whatever you are facing today, know that there are certain truths which will not be shaken. Your faith in the gospel will be vindicated. Jesus Christ is the Risen Lord. In the words of the American missionary Adoniram Judson, “The future is as bright as the promises of God.”
You’re going to win this game!