Day 12: Hard work works! - 17 September 2019

By Benescke Janse van Rensburg

Doubles conductor. This is how South African tennis coach, Jeff Coetzee was dubbed after his latest successes on the tennis court. Coetzee himself represented South Africa and moved up to no. 12 on the Tennis World rankings before having to quit tennis in 2012 due to injuries.

Coetzee was not done with tennis and when he was invited to coach a double team from Colombia, he immediately took the opportunity. Juan Sebastian Cabal was 26-years-old and Robert Farah 25. Although the pair made a name for themselves in their own country, they were still unknown in the world of tennis.  

Coetzee soon realized that the pair had a different work ethic than his own perfectionist, driven approach.  He yearned for professionalism and that they would see and seize the opportunity they had in their hands. He put it straight to them: They will either look back in regret at what they could have achieved or they will look back in gratitude at what they did achieve through hard work, commitment and discipline. The two Colombians' took Jeff’s words to heart and started training like never before.

Now, after 5 years with Coetzee as their coach, they are reaping the rewards. In just the past year, Cabal and Farah won the Wimbledon tennis tournament, the Australian Open, the Eastbourne title and the clay crowns in Barcelona and Rome. Cabal and Farah are currently rated no. 1 in the world for doubles pairs. They are also the only team to already qualify for the year-end tournament in London.

In Proverbs 14:23 we read: “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty." Also in Hebrews 11:1 we read: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

At times in our lives, we so yearn for a breakthrough. It can be something practical like a promotion in our careers or the ownership of a successful business. Or it can be a spiritual breakthrough such as a loved one’s salvation, the restoration of a marriage, someone to fall pregnant or you meeting the right spouse.

What do we do in the waiting time? Do we continue to seek God’s face daily? Do we put a guard in front of our mouth to not speak anything negative about the situation? Do we pick up our spiritual weapons?

My hope is that we will continue to believe, hope and trust amidst the waiting. The day that we too, like Cabal and Farah experience one after the other breakthrough, might be closer that we think. Let us remind ourselves that God never sleeps nor slumbers and that He still holds the universe (and our lives) in His hands. God bless.

Father God, thank you that I can know that You hold everything in Your hands. Help me to stay faithful in times when it feels as if my breakthrough is not coming. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

  • Pictures: See pictures of the trio – Jeff Coetzee, Juan Cabal and Robert Farah at or on Stories van Hoop page on Facebook.
  • Feedback: Give feedback about the series or share your testimony of God’s goodness in your life at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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