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When a Hero Falls from Grace…

After hearing about Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace this week, I thought that I would share this verse.  May it encourage you to live strong, but live strong in faith:

I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me  -Philippians 4:13, NAB

If you have not heard already, Lance Armstrong has been publicly reprimanded for using performance-enhancing drugs.  Lance Armstrong lived by the motto, “Live Strong,” and he even started a charity foundation on that principle.  Unfortunately, we didn’t know that his strength came in a bottle.

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Nothing can take away the years of training that Lance Armstrong put in.  No one can deny that his defeat of cancer was amazing.  But like many people in today’s age, Armstrong became intoxicated with the strength of his own body and forgot where true strength comes from: God.

Winning championships is great.  Filling your home full of trophies is an accomplishment.  Hard work is definitely admirable.  But none of these can compare to the importance of faith in our life.  Our worldly accomplishments will fade away (and may even be forgotten), but the grace we receive in faith never fades.

With God in our lives, we have the strength to do anything.  True, we still have to put in some of the effort – God is not going to hand you a gold medal on a silver platter – but when times get tough, it is the fortitude of faith that will help pull you through.  When you think you can’t push yourself any harder, God will give you the strength of mind and soul that you need.

Lance Armstrong’s strength helped him to win races, but the strength we receive from God can do so much more.  God can help us to endure long nights at a hospital bedside.  His strength can help us to overcome our struggles in our careers.  God’s strength can even help us to repair broken relationships.  But you can’t get His strength out of a bottle.

It was a shame to hear that Armstrong had cheated.  His story inspired many people to live courageous lives.  Now, how many of those people will reevaluate what they once believed?  It may shake the very core of their lives.  They chose a hero, a false idol, to inspire their lives, and now they are left with nothing but questions and disappointment.

Unlike false heroes, we can believe in a God that will never fail us.  Christ became the ultimate hero by rejecting worldly strength and accepting His body’s weakness.  Despite His frailty, He changed the world.  Strength like that will never fade.

Let go of the worldly strength that fades and embrace the everlasting strength that can only be found through faith in Jesus Christ.  You may not win any medals, trophies, or treasures in this world, but you will have plenty waiting for you in the next.  May you always live strong – live strong in faith.

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