North Santa Rosa

Living with Purpose by Matt Dobson

The great college football coach, Bobby Bowden of Florida State, once remarked: “Coaching in athletics is a real challenge. A good coach has to find a positive in negative situations.”  It’sone thing to be a positive thinker, but being positive when faced with something negative is a challenge that’s not easy to overcome. I think to myself, what is the greatest thing I can do when faced with difficulty or a losing situation; when things begin to break down or fall apart? We all have the option of sinking with the difficulty and giving up. Don’t do it! Think positive! We can all choose to think our way through a difficulty, trial, or hardship. It’s the attitude we embrace that will find us either a winner or a loser at the game of life.

John 16:33 is Jesus’ vivid description of what life in this world will bring. He says, “I have told you these things so you may have peace in me. In the world you will have much trouble. But take hope! I have power of the world!” What a refreshing prospect to know that despite the world’s sway of defeat and depression, there is a bright side to be had. God is always there and Jesus can lift us over the barriers of life we must confront. There’s an old song a friend of mine taught me some time ago and it goes like this:

Drop kick me Jesus through the goal posts of life. End over end, neither left nor to right. Straight through the heart of them righteous uprights. Drop kick me, Jesus through the goal posts of life. Make me, oh make me, Lord more than I am. Make me a piece in your master game plan. Free from earthly temptations below, I’ve got the will, Lord if you’ve got the toe. Bring on the brothers who’ve gone on before. And all of the sisters who’ve knocked on your door. All the departed dear loved ones of mine, stick them up front in the offensive line. Oh, drop kick me, Jesus through the goal posts of life.

Certainly this is a song of faith; faith that Jesus can lead us to victory in life. It’s a song that acknowledges the heritage of our faith. Be sure to know the Lord has a game plan and strategy for each one of us. He offers a way of escape from the devil’s timely temptations (1 Cor. 10:13). In the game of life, much like sports, it’s all about timing. To achieve victory, a plan must be in play at all times. Very seldom does anyone overcome their troubles without a plan. Everyone through trial and error and revelation from God can develop a strategy. Understand when you leave yourself open to mental and physical fatigue you are vulnerable. It’s when our energy has been worn down by work and worry that we find it hard to overcome. Most of our defeats come at the end of the day. Not so much because it’s dark, but because we get tired at night. We must draw upon the resources of power that come from the Lord. Prayer and meditation on the Scriptures are more than enough to improve our stamina. Then there’s the valuable asset of rest. Even Jesus felt the need of quiet communion with God. Jesus time after time went away to pray. It’s incredibly important that you know when troubles seem to surround you or misfortunes come your way, God is a refuge and a haven of hope. For faith in God is never more wonderful than in your hour of trial.

Another friend of mine once gave me a silver coin that has the words Faith, Hope, and Love engraved on it. It sits on my kitchen window sill as a small reminder of what helps me overcome the world. Let me explain how these three little words can be a strategy to overcome the world’s hardships and your personal defeats.

First, overcome your trouble with FAITH. A lack of faith causes many Christians to succumb to failure and defeatist attitudes. As a result, the world becomes the arena in which they fail. It’s sad to see those who profess to be Christ-followers continue to think, see, hear, speak, do, and act like the world. You have to be different; set apart. “Every child of God has power (victory) over sins of the world. The way we have power over the sins of the world is by our faith” (1 John 5:4). If we are to overcome the world, we must use our faith to glorify God and to do those things that are pleasing in His sight. The Bible explains, “We will receive from Him whatever we ask if we obey Him and do what He wants” (1 John 3:22).

Secondly, you can overcome the world with HOPE. Millions in the world are without hope in Christ. Many people don’t have any idea of how hope in God can help them. And still others just don’t care. Don’t be like those who place their security in materialistic possessions that depreciate, decay, and eventually disappear. The difference in the Christian’s hope is their security in Christ. He offers us an abundant life on earth and eternal life both now and in heaven. Find a church to go to so you can learn about your hope in Christ. You must understand Christ doesn’t last for just a day, a week, a month, or a year…but forever! He is enduring, he never fails, he overcomes, and promises to come again and take us to our eternal destiny (John 14:2-3).

And finally, overcome the world and trouble with LOVE. The Bible says, “And now we have these three: Faith, Hope, and Love, but the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:13). When we choose to be self-willed and self-seeking we show our lack of love for God and others. This prevents us from having the ability to overcome negatives with positives. The world is filled with hate. Any bitterness and resentment you may have can make you sour and your contributions to society will be minimal at best. Strife with others promotes negative energy and makes it almost impossible to overcome anything with a positive outlook. The Bible tells us, “…friends, if God loved us that much, then we should love each other” (1 John 4:11). Love, be faithful, and hope in God. If you do these things, you are sure to overcome and have a winning record!

This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, Univ. of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida and a 1LT Chaplain in the U.S. Army Reserves. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at

Posted by on Nov 11 2012. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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