On this day ten years ago, I walked through a street of tailgaters on my way up to The Big House, and it’s still remarkable to remember what happened inside that stadium on September 1st, 2007.
As a junior at Appalachian State University who loved watching the Mountaineer football team, I was more than willing to “camp out” for tickets and jump in a van for a 10-hour trip to Michigan.
In the days and weeks leading up to the first game of the 2007 season, we knew playing number 5-ranked Michigan was an enormous opportunity for our school. Having won two National Championships on a lower level, we wanted to see the Mountaineers prove themselves on a much larger stage.
When you’re a fan or a player on a team that wins back to back championships, and spends the previous years winning almost every game, your confidence level is very high. You expect to win every time you step on the field.
Undoubtedly we were the underdog, and considered a “cupcake team” by many, but there was still a locker room and section of The Big House that had faith APP State could surprise everyone with a win.
Even so, all indications showed that Michgian was loaded with NFL talent and they would have their way with our little team from the mountains of North Carolina. Most thought there was no way a 1-AA school could ever beat No. 5 Michigan, and that it was a long shot at best.
However, just enough faith led to the biggest upset in college football history!
Many things went the Mountaineer’s way that day, and their speed proved to be too much for Michigan. But beyond the blocked kicks and the impressive touchdowns, the guys wearing black and gold had a belief something memorable could happen during that game.
Without faith, it’s impossible to pull an upset. An upset doesn’t happen unless there is belief that it’s possible. Faith is the foundation of an upset.
In sports and life, faith is the ability to see that something can happen, even when it appears unlikely or impossible. All too often people settle for the “nevers” and “no ways” in life, and their lack of faith prevents them from experiencing the joy and power of believing.
The longer we follow Jesus and the more we understand God’s character, our faith becomes stronger and bigger. As we begin to believe that God is able to restore, redeem, and miraculously do incredible things, we live with a confidence that anything is possible if it’s God’s will.
Deep faith is rooted in God’s power and His goodness, and it’s not about Him doing whatever we want Him to. Instead, it’s a belief that He will do what’s best and nothing is impossible for Him. We have faith that He is who He says He is.
Hebrews 11, a chapter in the Bible that is all about faith, reminds us of people who showed great faith, such as Abraham, Moses, and Noah.
The following verses explain what faith is:
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (verse 1).
“By faith we understand that the universe was created by the Word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible” (verse 3).
“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him” (verse 6).
Faith is the foundation of an upset in sports and is impossible to get the victory without it. Today, let’s remember that God is real, good, and loving…and put our faith in the ultimate upset that took place on the cross.
I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help my unbelief. I pray my faith would continue to deepen and be rooted in Your power and love. I know You are able to do incredible things in me and around me. Help me to keep believing, even when my situation seems impossible to overcome. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.