Scott Steinbrenner is 19 years old and came to know the Lord 16 years ago at Brooklyn Tabernacle. His passion for worship and ministry led him to serve as a Music Leader for World Changers, where he led worship and ministered to kids in Little Rock, AR; Columbus, MS; Tupelo, MS; and Chattanooga, TN. Scott is a member of Spotswood Baptist Church and has been serving there for over four years.
When I was in middle school, I played competitive tennis. My parents and coaches thought I was pretty good, so they encouraged me to play in tournaments. In my very first match of my first tournament, I was up 4 games to 0 in the first set. I had held my serve the whole match up to this point, and I was serving to go up 5 games to 0. But instead of holding my serve like I wanted, my opponent broke my serve. Completely unnerved, I lost 12 straight games and the match, 6-4, 6-0. I gave up after I realized my opponent was capable of beating me. I didn’t know how to respond at the first sight of trouble.
As Christians we face a constant set of trials, difficulties, and schemes from Satan to knock us down and render us useless. If we rely on our own intuition, self-control, and grit, that’s exactly what will happen to us. I could tell you story after story of how I tried my best and still lost the important game, still failed the important test, still broke up with a great girl. Life isn’t easy, and as Christians, we are called to a higher standard; therefore, life will be even more difficult.
That’s where repentance and reliance come in.
God sees us on earth. He knows exactly what we’re going through, because his son Jesus was fully man and fully God and was tempted in every way we have been; yet Jesus did not sin (Heb. 4:15). We have a heavenly Father who knows what we’re going through, loves us, and will not give us trials we cannot bear through Him (1 Cor. 10:13). We can rely on Him to be there for us exactly when we need him. Giving up is not an option. Stop looking for a way out, and start looking for a way forward. God will be right there to help us move forward from the place we are to the place He calls us to be.
There will be storms, and there will be heartbreak. But in the place He calls us to be eternally, there will be no more storms; there will be no more heartbreak. What we are experiencing in this world is nothing compared to the glory that awaits us in heaven.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. -Romans 8:18
With everything that’s going on in the world at this present moment, we need to remember that God is in control. I guarantee if we were in control of our own destiny, we would have already thrown in the towel and given up on ourselves.
But God, in his infinite wisdom and mercy, refuses to give up on us.
That’s why he gives us breath each morning. That’s why he continues to bless us with gorgeous sunrises, compliments on our outfits, and people not cutting us off in traffic. He knows there are better days ahead. And yes, it’s true; as Thomas Fuller first said, “the night is darkest just before the dawn.” We are headed to heaven one day, and if I can give you any hope today, it is this: the suffering that we’re experiencing is worth it. God is worth it.
I wish I could say that my tennis story has a happy ending, but the truth is, I had a lackluster and brief competitive tennis career. I had one shining moment of glory where I made it to the semifinals of one of the biggest tournaments of the year, but aside from that, I lost way more matches than I won. In my life, when I’ve tried to fight on my own, I’ve lost way more than I’ve won.
God is always victorious. I take joy and pride in saying, “I can’t do anything, but God has already done everything.”