Praise in Victory or Defeat

I enjoy watching college football and always pull against Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Southern Cal. On October 3, 2015, I watched on ABC, Clemson play Norte Dame in pouring rain. 

Notre Dame had scored in the last seconds making it 24-22 Clemson. They had to go for the two point conversion to tie the game and send it to overtime. Clemson held and won the game for a dramatic win. 

An emotional Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney was interviewed on the field immediately after the game ended. As he thanked God for the victory, ABC cut him off. But ABC can’t cut off his Christian witness. In his speaking engagements, he always includes his testimony for the “the good Lord.” 

Dabo, a nickname he got from his brother trying to say ‘that boy,’ developed a strong faith when he was a teen. His father was an alcoholic and his mother divorced him. She worked at low paying, minimum wage, jobs. He and his mother were evicted from their rental house and spent many a night in her car. Dabo knows adversity and the trial of faith. 

It’s easy to praise God in our victories. It’s another thing to praise him in adversity and allow the fiery trails to develop your faith (1 Peter 4:12).  

Real worship does not bow to adversity. In fact, adversity magnifies faith. The apostles are examples of this too. After being flogged on orders of the Sanhedrin for boldly preaching the Gospel, they left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. (Acts 5:42). 

Such worship magnifies the Father’s name and reputation because it can’t be false. True worship isn’t based on circumstances. It can only come from real joy in hearts that are really redeemed. The glory in that kind of worship points only to God. 

We may be accustomed to praise God when life is easy and wonder where His favor has gone when life puts us in the valley of despair. Adversity can bring out the best or worst in a redeemed heart. The choice is ours. -based on Worahip the King devotional for October 16 by Chris Tiegreen. 

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