Romans 8:37 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us”
The roar of “We Are….Penn State” boomed across the whole commonwealth. Our unranked football team was up against Ohio State, positioned as number 2 in the nation, but that only intensified the electric atmosphere. You would have thought the Super Bowl was at stake. One announcer remarked that the “white-out” crowd at Beaver Stadium served not just as the “12th” man, but the 13th, 14th and 15th man. (For those of you unfamiliar with football terminology, this means the fans make so much noise in support of their team, it’s like having an extra player on the field).
Penn State’s football program had been crippled by NCAA sanctions since 2012, and many thought they would never recover. Add to that this year’s unprecedented number of injuries. It wasn’t surprising to find us as 19-point underdogs. Although the Nittany Lions looked impressive the first three quarters of the game, they entered the fourth quarter behind, 21-7. Then a touchdown followed by a field goal put Penn State within striking distance to catch the lead. With a little over 4 minutes left in the game, Penn State blocked the Buckeyes’ field goal attempt and Penn Stater Grant Haley scooped up the ball and sprinted 60 yards for the deciding touchdown. Penn State won, 24-21.
In no time, it seemed all 107,280 fans covered the field in wild celebration. It was the happiest Happy Valley had been in a long time.
But I have to admit, I couldn’t get excited until the last minute of the game when we had final possession of the ball. I kept imagining somehow Ohio State would get the ball back and score. I mean, all the prognosticators predicted Penn State had no chance. No one, even ardent supporters, thought we would beat Ohio State. Thankfully, the team didn’t get the memo. Throughout the whole game, they looked like a team who knew they were winners.
What a spiritual parallel….
Scripture says we who are in Christ “are more than conquerors.” No matter what it looks like—even going into the fourth quarter—God purposes us to win. Our opponent, the devil, will try everything he can to get us to think we don’t have a chance. Don’t listen to his false predictions! If you are a believer, be assured…