My friend Owen Strachan has a great article in the Atlantic this week on whether God cares if Tim Tebow wins on Saturday.
The gist: This question is answered by the doctrine of providence. Yes, God does care. God cares about and governs everything, even the death of a sparrow.
But does this mean that God is always going to cause Tim Tebow to win? No. This life is about more than victories and successes, and football games are not the most important thing. God has promised that his children will also suffer — and the extent to which you suffer (or, just lose a football game; I know it’s a lot less significant than what we mean by suffering most of the time!) is no indication that God loves you less or is not for you. In fact, it is a mark of his love (Hebrews 12:3-11).
Thus, when there are Christians on both teams, we can fully and completely say that God is “for” all of them — he’s for them in the sense that he is fully devoted to their eternal good and will not withhold any good thing from them ultimately (Romans 8:32).
Who wins a football game is a secondary issue — though it is a lot of fun. And win or lose, God will work the game (yes, even something as not “life or death” as a football game) for the good of Tim Tebow, any other Christians on the Broncos, any Christians playing for the Patriots, and all Christians everywhere.
Not because football games in themselves are a big deal, but because Christ rules everything for the sake of the church (Ephesians 1:22) and God works all things – large and small, weighty or light, significant and insignificant — for the good of his people (Romans 8:28). Always.
(By the way: I love Tebow, but I’m a huge Patriots fan and want to see them win another Super Bowl — and then two more after that. So, I’ll be torn on Saturday.)