"And this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith" (1 John 5:4).
As the Church, we simply can't expect the world to approve what we believe or to cheer us on. When we believe in sin and see it first and foremost in ourselves, don't expect the world to cheer. When we believe that Jesus Christ alone is the way, don't expect the world to cheer. When we believe in the sanctity of marriage and the preciousness of every human life, don't expect the world to cheer. When we believe that He is coming soon and so devote ourselves to lives of repentance and faith, don't expect the world to cheer.
Football coach Lou Holtz explained why it's so hard for a team to play on the road: "Because there'll come a critical time during the course of a game where if you aren't confident, if you aren't competitive, then you're intimidated and you need the crowd to encourage you. But if you're winners and competitors, you don't care about it. You'll say, 'The louder the crowd gets, the greater our resolve will become today!'"
Without knowing it, Coach Holtz has captured perfectly what it's like to be the Church in the world. As Christians living here for a time, we are playing a road game. This is true because our home is in heaven. We can't look to the crowd to encourage us. They will not be cheering for us but against us, and sometimes even jeering at us.
But the victory of Christ over sin and death makes us winners who compete confidently by our Christian conduct and love. We say, "The louder the crowd gets, the greater our faith will become today!"
Coach always says, "Take heart, I have overcome the world!" (John 16:33).