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Jeremy Lin became an inspiration to many youth and adults when he took the New York Knicks to several impressive victories after previously sitting on the bench for most of his career. When sidelined and with him now in the spotlight, he has in both instances professed his praise and dependance on God, through the good and bad, the failures and successes – testifying that it is God who works all things for the good of those who love Him.


Illustration


He’s been called “the most surprising story in the NBA”, appeared on the covers of Sports Illustrated with the headline “Against All Odds” and the New York Times called, “the greatest tribute”, mentioned by Hall of Fame players, featured in Time Magazine and Forbes, which wrote, “Congratulations Jeremy. You have now made the cover of Time the same number of times as Michael Jordan. Linsanity reigns on.”You probably wouldn’t have thought much of him if you saw him down the street before his meteoric rise to fame. Don’t feel bad, you’re not alone. He’s been mistaken for a water boy, a team trainer, stereotypical Asian volleyball player, and perhaps much worse. At games he would hear jeers thrown at him such as “Wonton soup”, “Sweet and sour pork”, “Open your eyes!”, “Go back to China”, “Orchestra is on the other side of campus”, or in fake Chinese gibberish. Lin later says this occurred at most if not all Ivy League gyms. He does not react to it, “I expect it, I’m used to it, it is what it is.”

His coach in the Knicks didn’t take notice of him at first either. No one knows why, but he remained stuck on the bench and crashing on friends’ couches, with not much hope of it getting any better. After injuries to teammates, though, Lin was placed into the starting lineup. The Knicks promptly won six straight games, one of which ended in true edge-of-your-seat fashion; with Lin nailing the winning 3-point shot right on the buzzer.

Six straight wins later, he scored 89, 109, and 136 points in his first three, four, and five career starts, respectively, all three of which are the most by any player since 1976-77. Lin was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week after averaging 27.3 points, 8.3 assists and 2.0 steals in those four starts with the Knicks going undefeated. NBCNewYork.com noted that “no one… in the history of basketball has done in their first four starts what Lin pulled off for the Knicks last week.”

Despite achieving the near Linpossible, he credits his parents with teaching him to play “godly basketball,” which measures success by sportsmanship, not stats. That means putting teammates first and showing respect to opponents and referees. He thanked God for the opportunities he was given and speaking about his successes, he says “I’ve surrendered that to God. I’m not in a battle with what everybody else thinks anymore.”

Has success changed him? Well, his former Sacramento Kings coach Keith Smart stated, “I knew [Lin] before he was Linmania. He’s still the same humble guy. The guy has not changed a bit, which is real special for a young man.”

Lin has spoken of his dependence and faith in God that helped to help carry him through the highs and lows of his sports career, “I’m just thankful to God for everything,” Lin said in a post-game interview. “Like the Bible says, ‘God works in all things for the good of those who love him.'”


Take It to the Next Level


  • How do you feel about the way Jeremy Lin has been public about his faith?
  • As a youth, do you sometimes feel like you have to hide your faith from your friends?
  • How often do we attribute our successes to God?
  • When all we see are failures and disappointments, how do we respond to God?
  • How can youth remain humble through their successes?

Application


It’s easy to blame God when we’re stuck in a rut and experience failure, disappointment, or just feeling sidelined in our lives. It’s easy to pray, to cry out to God to save us. But when we finally do experience a breakthrough, it’s just as easy to forget the One who brought us through.We’re not all that different from the Israelites: They called out to God, He delivered them from slavery, and once they were free, He provided for them, saw to their every need, and blessed them with a land to call their own. Sadly, they didn’t heed Moses’ warning to remember their God who gave them all these good things in the first place. Once they were prosperous, they grew proud and thought they were the ones responsible for their success. (Deut. 8:2-18).

I hope that Jeremy Lin is an inspiration to all of us, youth and adults, to live lives that are consistent in our praise and dependance on God, through the good and bad, the failures and successes – testifying that it is God who works all things for the good of those who love Him. The same God of Israel – the One that we read about in the Bible – is the same awesome and powerful God that does the Linpossible. And He’s the same God that we worship. Our God.

 

Get "Destined to Win" Youth Bible Study SeriesDestined to Win
Need a Youth Camp/ Bible Study Series onĀ “Running the Christian Race”?

Our “Destined to Win” series is a great follow up for youth who are new Christians or to emphasize the basics of our spiritual Journey in the Faith. This Bible Study / Camp Curriculum / Small Group Study has a sports theme and is great for athletes and works well as a tie in to what’s going on in the NBA and the current Linsanity.
->Tell me about “Destined to Win”

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