Browns vs. Cardinals 

Browns vs. Cardinals 

I'm a huge Cleveland fan. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm extremely dedicated to my Cleveland sports. That means the Browns, Cavaliers, Indians, and even the Gladiators (90% of the you will end up googling who they are.) When you are a Cleveland fan, you go through many emotions, most of them are the stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) and it's each year. Some years are better than others, and we always hold on strong. 

Since I love all the Cleveland sports, I can celebrate the fact that this past year, the Cavaliers won the NBA title! This is the first title for the city in 52 years, and it was a glorious and historical moment. I'll spare you the details and relive the moment alone. But to me, personally, the only thing that would get more excited than that is.....

WHEN the Browns win the Super Bowl.. I capitalize "WHEN" to emphasize the fact it will happen. 

There is something about Cleveland Browns football that just gets me excited each and every year. I find a new reason to amp myself up each year; mostly because by the end of the year I'm already attempting to find a positive.. The Browns aren't very good, and I'm okay with that. I always root for the underdog, so being a Browns fan just kind of fits my personality. 

But my reason in writing this isn't for my unhealthy love for Cleveland sports.. Like I said, every year we face a new challenge. This year for instance, we are 2 games into the season and we have already lost our starting QB, our backup QB, starting Center (the guy who gives the QB the ball,) and a promising rookie on the defense. Going into this season we had, and still have, high hopes. We have completely restructured the front office, hired one of the top HC candidates, and drafted very well! We have the reason to be very excited, more so than other years! But our disappointment seems to have came a little early this year, and I think a lot of us can relate to this outside of football..

When Christ-Followers begin their journey, they are usually on a "spiritual high." Their energy is high, spirits cannot be broken, faith is strong, and we are excited as ever to do this thing. But then that sin we are struggling with is still there? We get laid off at work? Our relationship continues to fall apart? The list goes on and on... And we are quickly asking ourselves, I thought this Christianity thing was suppose to make my life easier? 

The truth is - it isn't. Following Christ isn't always easy. You're called to live to a higher standard, you're told to forgive people, that some would consider unforgivable. You are meant to do things you do not want to do, and are called to not do things you want to do! What's the deal! 

We do not always understand it and probably never will. We serve an infinite God who has infinite wisdom, and we are finite beings with limited minds. But the fact that we get to serve him, thats the drive that we need to strive for! 

1 Peter 4:13, "But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." 
James 1:2-3, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trails of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your produces perseverance." 

You see, according these verses, we do not need to see our trials as a negative, but rather a chance to grow in ourselves. Being a Christ-Follower, we are not supposed to act like we have it all together or that we are perfect. We are all people, that without Christ being the final blood sacrifice, would be bound to sin and death. Because of GRACE, we aren't anymore. We have a higher calling in our life. We get to rejoice in sufferings; not only because of our potential growth, but because we serve a God who got it worse than we ever have. If nothing else, take it as an encouragement to pick yourself up and lean on God. 

Yours in Christ,

Philip Mullins