More Than Optimism

The time has finally arrived. The long drought is almost over.  Fall is just around the corner.  In fact, you can almost feel it in the air as the temperature and humidity have dropped in recent days.  No, I am not referring to the arrival of pumpkin spice latte or even pumpkin bread or pumpkin pie (though either of those latter two are welcome). 

As always, at this time of year, fans of college football are optimistic, as they envision their favorite team’s mission to accomplish a championship season.  Tennessee Vol fans are no different.  I know, I know.  I live in Wildcat and even Cardinal country, but Vol fans are everywhere.  And we are optimistic, perhaps more than we have been in a long time.

I realize that this is where Bama and even Bulldog fans (sorry but I am unbiased that the SEC is the best conference in college football) begin to laugh at my optimism.  But lest these two and other teams forget, TN has been a top-tier SEC football program for a long time.  I realize it’s been a minute since that were so, but as the saying goes, “There is always next year.”  Well, next year has arrived with the kick-off of college football unofficially this weekend and officially next weekend.

I do realize that my optimism has been unrealized for more than a dozen years now.  Yet, I am (pretty) confident that the tide is changing.  While it’s always fun to dream and talk about how “next year” is going to be the turnaround we have been waiting for, when it comes to God’s mission I do not rest in a kind-of-confidence, but in a certain expectation.

Unlike the success of our favorite college football team, the success of God’s mission is not a whimsical wish.  We are not hoping that circumstances will change, and our team will accomplish the unimaginable against all odds.  Rather, we know that God wins, and His mission will not be thwarted.  

We have read the end of the story.  John the revelator describes the victory of God in Revelation 7:9: “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands, and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’”

God wins.  What is amazing is that God uses His people to accomplish His mission through the church, the mission to make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:16-20).  No need to speculate; no need to predict what will happen.  God’s mission is certain.  How will God use your church to accomplish His certain victory?  The Missions Mobilization Team is ready to help your church discover how to join in God’s victory to make disciples of all nations. And that is no mere speculation or wishful optimism!

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