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Always Next Year

“But I will hope continually and will praise You more and more.”
-Psalm 71:14

As I was driving to work this morning, I was forced to constantly keep changing the radio station. All anyone could or would talk about was my beloved Kansas Jayhawks’ loss to VCU yesterday in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. And I just did not want to hear it.

For college basketball fans across the country, March is a bittersweet month. Because there is only one national champion at the end of the season, the vast majority of us have to end the season on some sort of losing note. And we always wind up consoling ourselves with the common thought, “Well, there’s always next year.”

But, stop for a minute and think about that. Looking forward to next year after a crushing loss isn’t such a bad thing. Yes! There’s a next year! And, yes! There is hope! Even just thinking about it now eases the pain a little from yesterday’s loss. Eventually, November will be here again, and, once more, we’ll get to start the awesome adventure of another run for the title.

Thank God that the same thing is true in life. Because our God is merciful and gracious, we can apply the “always next year” concept to our lives in general. None of us are perfect. There was only one man who was perfect, and His name was Jesus. Since the rest of us are imperfect humans, we are in need of the grace and help and mercy of a loving God who can pick up our pieces when we crash and burn.

These instances can be anything from our own mistakes to the mistakes of others that hurt us or just difficult life circumstances in general. The point is that, with God, there is always hope. He’s said in His word that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), and that, in His perfect plan, He will give us all a “hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Today, rest in the truth that, through Christ, there’s always “next year.” If you’re coming off of a loss, disappointment, mistake or defeat—either in sports or in life—know that the Lord is already at work preparing something great for you on the horizon. Let Him come into the emotional pain you are experiencing right now and help you deal with it, and then, live in the hope He will provide you for what’s to come.

What loss or disappointment are you currently experiencing?
Do you have hope?
How does Jesus Christ and what He’s done for you offer hope?
How can you share that hope with others?

Psalm 42:5
Psalm 103:8-19
Jeremiah 29:11
Hebrews 13:5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jill Ewert is the editor of FCA’s Sharing the Victory magazine and the host of STV’s online video series. Visit http://www.sharingthevictory.com.

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