Sports Spectrum Daily Devotional: Thursday, September 26, 2019

“But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior; so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced; their dishonor will never be forgotten.” — Jeremiah 20:11

Learning Endurance

If an athlete wants to be successful for the long haul, it’s essential to learn to persevere through pain, failure, setbacks, inclement weather and losses.

If we watch bears living in the woods, we learn about survival. When a litter of bear cubs are born, the little ones weigh about a pound apiece and the mother bear can carry each one in her mouth as needed. For about a year and a half, the cubs learn to rake leaves and sticks to make their den, how to swim in creeks and rivers, how to climb trees, where to find berries, acorns and little animals to eat. After 17 months or so, the mother chases her full grown cubs out of her den. It’s time for them to survive in the wild on their own.

As bears keep searching until they find food, the Lord expects us to keep trying until we reach our goals. When the weather changes or they get injured, bears find a way to make it. Bears enjoy playing in the woods, usually live close to water for drinking and swimming and fishing with their paw. They avoid people as much as possible because they want to live and enjoy life as long as they can. They try not to do anything that would harm themselves or shorten their lives. They are survivors.

The prophets, apostles and a host of women in the Bible lived for God in a world full of problems. Believers in olden times developed character and usually didn’t run from trouble. Jeremiah was criticized and the people got angry because he told them to live right. They put him in a dungeon and he got discouraged. It was painful but he refused to quit.

“Then I said, I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name. But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back and I could not.” — Jeremiah 20:9 (NKJV)

Jeremiah overcame fear and frustration through faith in Almighty God.

“But the Lord is with me as a mighty, awesome One. Therefore, my persecutors will stumble, and will not prevail.” — Jeremiah 20:11 (NKJV)

We don’t have to quit and we can overcome anything with God’s help. Aren’t you glad that Jesus didn’t quit at age 29? Jesus knew some people wouldn’t like him and some would be cruel toward him, but He kept moving forward until He fulfilled the Father’s will. 

Will we walk in the footsteps of Jesus and overcome obstacles to serve the Lord? Whatever we experience will probably be easier than being crucified.

— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Ga.

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