There are two answers to this question. NO and YES.
In previous blogs, we have looked at the problems with saying “No, he doesn’t care because:”
1) God has more important things to care about than games and who wins them.
2) God doesn’t care about the outcome of the games – he cares about how they are played.
We also affirmed the REALITY that “Yes God cares who wins as well as how the games are played as he is IN, OVER, and THROUGH all things.”
In this blog, we want to look at the REASON God cares about who wins.
I can imagine a coach (who reads this or believes this idea that God cares about winning) speaking to his or her players and encouraging them to pray before games for God to give them victory. I can envision him saying something like, “God is a victorious God, a mighty warrior who has conquered all his enemies.”
Now let’s imagine both teams praying to this God, a God who cares about winning. What happens after the game? To the ones who win, God is viewed as favoring them for their efforts. To the ones who lose, God has held back his favor, due to their paltry efforts. With this thinking, The REASON God cares about winning is that it is a chance to show off who he loves more.
If you have ever thought or said this, you are mistaken. God cares not only about the winning but the losing as well. God is in, over and through both the winning and the losing. God doesn’t love just the winners, he loves the losers.
What is the REASON God cares about the winning and the losing?
To answer that, let’s remember the reason we are concerned – winning and losing has everything to do with our glory. We want to win because of what it says about us. We don’t want to lose for the same reason.
God’s concern about winning and losing has everything to do with glory, not ours – his. He oversees winning and losing in light of the ways that his glory, his magnificence, his greatness can be displayed in both of those outcomes.
I repeat again what John Piper declares:
“God’s first commitment is to His own glory, and this is the basis for ours.
God’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy His glory forever.”
With that in mind, I think we can say without reservation, “God not only cares about who wins, he cares about it more than any athlete, coach or team could ever care.” His concern for the game flows from an infinite passion for his glory and the way in which that glory can be made evident in winning or losing.
Do you see what this perspective can do? We can actually stir our passion for winning while projecting it towards God’s glory.
When we win, we can resist the temptation to make it about us and our glory and, instead, thank God for the opportunity to pour ourselves out in the competition. We can thank him for determining that his glory would be best shown in our winning. We can warmly shake the hands of the other players and honor them for the ways they displayed their Creator.
If we lose, the same ideas apply. It is not about us and our glory, it is about God and his glory. We can be grateful for the opportunity to pour ourselves out in the competition even though we lost, knowing God determined that losing would best show off his glory. We can genuinely shake the hands of those who beat us and thank them for the competition.
This is a God-glorifying, God-pleasing, soul satisfying response to winning and losing and it flows from the deep conviction and heart felt answer to the question – “Does God care who wins?” Absolutely YES!!!! -with a greater passion than any athlete or coach or spectator has every felt but for a different reason, his glory not ours!