On February 5, 2017, the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons competed in Superbowl 51 for the title of Superbowl Champion. The Atlanta Falcons dominated the game all the way into the late 3rd Quarter. With just 15 minutes left of Superbowl 51, the New England Patriots were down 28-3. No team in Superbowl history has ever overcome a deficit of 10 points or more to come back and win the game. But things began to turn around for Tom Brady and the Patriots.
With less than 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, the Patriots scored their first touchdown of the game. They missed the extra point making the score (28-9). Tom Brady and the Patriots went on to score a field goal (28-12), a touchdown (28-18), and then a 2 point conversion making the score (28-20). With just 58 seconds left in the game they go on another to score yet another touchdown making it (28-26). They go for another 2 point conversion and succeed, tying the game at 28-28. The Falcons are stunned and can’t believe they are going into overtime when they were just leading 28-3. The games goes into overtime and the Patriots score another touchdown, winning Superbowl 51, (34-28)! The game is considered to be one of the greatest Superbowls in NFL history and one of the greatest comeback games in all of sports history.
Now you don’t have to be an American football fan to appreciate the specialness of this. Down by 25 points with just 15 minutes (games are 48 minutes long) left, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots had everything against them. Time was not on their side, momentum was not on their side, and history was not on their side. They overcame the greatest of odds and achieved the most respectable accomplishment for an NFL football team – to be the Superbowl champion. Tom Brady becomes the first quarterback to win 5 Superbowls and is named Superbowl MVP for the 4th time.
Friend, you may not be playing in a Superbowl but I want you to know that no matter what the “score” is, God can turn things around for you. Throughout all of time God has been turning things around for people who put their trust in Him. Going all the way back to the book of Genesis, we find a perfect example of someone who had everything going against him but yet still managed to overcome all odds. After being sold as a slave by his brothers and then later thrown into prison for an unjust cause, who would have thought that Joseph would have become the 2nd most powerful person in the world and play a significant role in saving the people of Israel. With “time running out”, with the just “seconds” left in the “game”, God turned it all around for Joseph.
And what about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, thrown in the fiery furnace and assumed to be burned alive, only to walk out with not even one hair burned on their bodies?! What about Daniel who was thrown in the lion’s den only for God to shut the mouths of the lions? God can do the impossible! All throughout the Bible we can find examples of men and women who overcame enormous challenges but “came back” because of God’s help. If you would have looked at them in their most dire of circumstances, you would have counted them out.
One final example I would like to share is the story of Abraham Lincoln who has always been an inspiration for me. Abraham failed more than he succeeded. Below is a summary of Lincoln’s failures and successes; most people would have given up:
1831: Abraham Lincoln failed in business.
1832: Abraham Lincoln was defeated for state legislator.
l832: Also lost his job – wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.
1833: Lincoln borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
1834: Lincoln ran for state legislature again – won.
1835: Abraham Lincoln’s fiancée died.
1836: Abraham Lincoln had a nervous breakdown.
1838: Lincoln seeks to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.
1843: Abraham Lincoln ran for congress and was defeated.
1848: Lincoln ran again, and was defeated. Again.
1855: Lincoln ran for the Senate, and lost.
1856: Lincoln ran for Vice President, and lost.
1859: Lincoln ran again for the Senate. He was defeated.
1860: Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States.
God can turn it around for you. Don’t give up!
NFL Superbowl 51 highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48JlC6ssBLY
Abraham Lincoln: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Lincoln
Genesis Chapters 37 – 50 (The story of Joseph)
Daniel Ch. 3 (The story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego)
Daniel Ch. 6 (The story of Daniel in the lions den)
Matthew 19:26: …with God all things are possible….
Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
Deuteronomy 31:8 “It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”