Why The Underdog Will Win

Posted by on Aug 27, 2013 in Blog Articles, Encouragement | 14 comments

I love the movie “Rocky.”  Yes, I’m talking about the first Rocky movie that came out in 1976.  I love this movie for several reasons:  I once lived in Philadelphia (where the movie is set), and I love to watch an underdog win.

Rocky’s life was nothing special until he was given the unlikely opportunity to fight Apollo Creed, the World Heavyweight Champion.  After focusing all of his time, money, and talent on training to fight Apollo Creed, Rocky comes to realize the night before the nationally promoted fight that he can’t beat Creed.  There’s just no way a poor wanna-be fighter can realistically beat a world-class winner.

So why bring up such an old movie now?  It’s because I can relate to Rocky on a personal level.  Yesterday was a tough day for me.  The Evil One used others to tell me all the reasons why the book my co-author, La-Tan Roland Murphy, and I wrote will never be successful—and that it will never recoup a penny of the thousands of dollars we’ve spent to pay contributing writers, an editor, a professional marketing guru, and promotion costs on a book that God clearly told us to write.  Man, just kick me and tell me to be hopeless.

Then I thought of Rocky.  Realizing he could not win, he was faced with two options:  either don’t show up for the fight—or show up and believe that he’s capable of giving his very best effort.

Hmm.  Give his very best effort.  Now why do those words ring a bell?  Because in the movie “Facing the Giants,” high school football coach Grant Taylor realizes that he can’t win at anything in his life, and he is faced with, yes, two options:  either give up—or turn to God, focus on Him, and give his very best effort to a God who believes in him.

That reminded me of when my husband was going through the long battle of unemployment.  Innumerable people told us that Tim would never get another job.  Why?  Because he was too old and had been unemployed for too long.  These two facts made him unemployable—from their perspective.  Which happened to be the perspective of most people.  Except Tim and me.

In a terrible, unenviable situation, Tim and I had, yes, two choices:  either give up hoping for a new job—or believe in God’s promises that He will give us what we need and when we need it—for starters.

Like Rocky and Coach Taylor, Tim and I refused option one; there was no giving up and throwing in the towel.  Instead, we put our focus on the winning team—God.  And in doing so, we ignored the naysayers and believed that God can do all that He says He can do.  And God did:  Tim was given a good job.

Now, back to me and the naysayers and the book.  Just like Rocky, Coach Taylor, and Tim, La-Tan and I have, yes, two choices:  either we believe that our book cannot be successful because most books are not—or we put our trust and focus on God—who told us to write the book in the first place—and allow Him to do what He wants with it.

And so, La-Tan and I are going to ignore what is reality from a human perspective—that we cannot recoup our financial expenditures because the book can’t possibly be successful enough to do this.  Instead, we are going to focus on God who says He can and He will if we choose to obey Him and leave all the consequences up to Him.


Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.  Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)



  1. God loves to use us to show the world that He is capable of doing the impossible through us. He won’t allow His word to return void so if He tells us to write, it’ll have the return He intends. Thanks for the uplifting post.

    • Erin, I ‘m so glad you enjoyed the article! I love the scripture that God’s word never returns void and that it accomplishes what He pleases.

  2. Cynthia, I love your writing and always look forward to the Soaring with Eagles. Your book, God’s Provision in Tough Times is wonderful. I read one story a day. That way each story is my insperation that reminds me how great God is.

    • Don, YOU are one of the most encouraging friends I have. Do you have any idea how many times I almost quit writing this blog only to get a phone call from you, or an email, or a comment telling me how much my articles mean to you?!! Without you, Big Don, there would probably not be a Soar With Eagles blog. I hereby place you in the winners’ circle. Love you, Big Don!

  3. How well I remember those days–and how easy it would have been for you to give up. Some days–many days-were quite a struggle but with God on your side, nothing is impossible. AMEN to the previous comments–and must save the quote from Keith and put on my frig! Have a great day–and you know your book is going to repay a thousand fold because it is written as God demanded.

    • Marge, put yourself in the winners’ category. You are a faithful and true encourager. Where would I be without your support? I never want to know!

  4. A very inspirational post, Cynthia, and encouragement is something we need every day. I also appreciate Keiki’s quote from Kent Keith. It is so easy to listen to the wrong voices and not the Voice that truly matters.

    • Well said, Janet. Who should we listen to – the one in Hell or the One in Heaven?

  5. Cynthia, I believe God has a glorious plan for your book, and for the two of you. We may never see some of the results of our work, but God knows. May “God’s Provision…” see success beyond your wildest dreams. Blessings.

    • Marie, know that you are a huge blessing to me.

  6. Thank you for this blog, Cynthia. It couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time. As my checkbook balance continues to dip closer to negative numbers, I wondered if all this pushing toward publishing a novel on my own is worth it. Then I remember, my little story with four cantankerous hair stylists is a funny vehicle to show–not tell–how unity can change lives. And that this little story is a tiny way fulfills Jesus’ prayer in John 17–so the world will know.

    Thanks again for the encouragement–know that your book is a testimony to your perseverance. God bless.

    • Terri, just remember: God believes in YOU. And if you are focused on Him and doing His will, you will be able to do all that He says you can. You go girl!

  7. My thoughts on this post? I’ll borrow these words from Kent Keith in response…

    People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
    Forgive them anyway.

    If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
    Be kind anyway.

    If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
    Succeed anyway.

    If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
    Be honest and frank anyway.

    What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
    Build anyway.

    If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
    Be happy anyway.

    The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
    Do good anyway.

    Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
    Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

    You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
    It was never between you and them anyway.

    • Amen, Keiki. Amen.

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