There are always a few teams that start quickly out of the gate each season. Typically, they have lots of talent and, well, talent shows up early. The teams with the most natural talent usually whip the lesser-equipped teams early in the season. At least, that’s been my experience.

That’s when the initial underdogs have a choice.

I played for a coach who knew how to prepare the initially-less-talented team for later victory. He was the master at it. His conclusion was simple: we would keep working harder than we knew the other teams were working. And eventually, we would pass them. He was always right. His way always worked. His words were always true. We trusted him and knew it was going to be alright.

Proverbs 10:29 highlights this in a far more important way: “The way of the Lord is a stronghold to the upright, but ruin to the workers of iniquity.”

For those who trust in the Lord, who follow in his way, who know and obey his word, his path of life is a place of strength, just like we felt about the way our coach was leading us. Strength, wisdom, and hope continue to grow when we walk in his way, when we are upright.

And while it might not seem like the righteous often fare well in this world, in the end, those who simply keep walking with Jesus will be given victory. Those who seem to have it all here and now, apart from Jesus will only find ruin in the end, just like the teams we eventually beat when it counted.

Lord Jesus, give me patience to see your victory in the end. May I walk with you today and live in the stronghold that is your way of life. Amen