rooting for the underdog…


Okay so last night was the Super Bowl… and even though I live in Florida and had really no interest in the teams playing per se… I was definitely rooting for one team over the other… the New York Football Giants… Now, I know what you’re thinking… “of course you were now that they have won you can say you were rooting for them!” But understand I never really thought they were going to win and to be honest I wasn’t so much hoping the Giants would win as much as I was hoping the Patriots would lose. That does sound incredibly harsh, but there is something in me that almost always pulls for the underdog to win especially win it comes against a team that has put up unimaginable offensive numbers, hasn’t lost, a game, is led by a pretty-boy Hollywood quarterback with a supermodel girlfriend, and who EVERYBODY is picking to destroy the other team by 2+ touchdowns. Some people like to see perfection… not me… at least not in football.

But what is it about me that pulls for the unlikely candidate? What is it that roots for the Giants or casts a vote for Mike Huckabee or loves the movie “Napoleon Dynamite”? Why the underdog? Well, there is probably some deep-seeded psychological thing where I identify myself personally with those that are considered underdogs and a victory for them is perceived as a victory for myself… but let’s not go there… instead I like to think there is a more spiritual reason behind it.

Over the past several weeks in church our pastor has been going over the Beatitudes from Matthew 5. It’s been an interesting study and as a result I have read that passage of Scripture over and over again, and it occurred to me this morning that God is rooting for the underdog… check it out…

3Blessed (happy, to be envied, and [b]spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the poor in spirit (the humble, who rate themselves insignificant), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!

4Blessed and enviably happy [with a happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His matchless grace] are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted!

5Blessed (happy, blithesome, joyous, spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the meek (the mild, patient, long-suffering), for they shall inherit the earth!

6Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God enjoys His favor and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be completely satisfied!

7Blessed (happy, to be envied, and [k]spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy!

8Blessed (happy, enviably fortunate, and [n]spiritually prosperous–possessing the happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His grace, regardless of their outward conditions) are the pure in heart, for they shall see God!

9Blessed (enjoying enviable happiness, spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they shall be called the sons of God!

10Blessed and happy and enviably fortunate and spiritually prosperous (in the state in which the born-again child of God enjoys and finds satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of his outward conditions) are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake (for being and doing right), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!

11Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of your outward conditions) are you when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things against you falsely on My account.

12Be glad and supremely joyful, for your reward in heaven is great (strong and intense), for in this same way people persecuted the prophets who were before you.The Amplified Bible

I love the Amplified Translation here because it points out something about the word “blessed” it means (in the Greek) someone who possesses enviable happiness! Why is that? It’s because while those that mourn, or who are poor in spirit are the under dogs here they have a guaranteed victory beyond this earth. Even the Son of God came from an unlikely place. Even his own disciples initially thought where he came from was questionable (John 1:43-46) and the people he grew up with were sure he was merely a carpenter’s son. God values those that most people don’t, and He calls us to look past cleanliness, and self-confidence, and a well-spoken manner to look at the values of the heart.

So, if you feel like an under dog… as most of do from time-to-time… don’t worry. We have the greatest of advocates and the best of champions in our corner.

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