“Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.” — Proverbs 14:26
To play top competition, a deftness at the psychological level is required. But our relationship with sports is not a one-way road. Sports are not just physical, nor is the impact they leave on athletes merely physical. Our experiences in sports also shape the way that we interact with the world.
Today, the crossover between the physical and mental components of sports has given rise to many motivational quotes, inspirational sayings and personal mottos. One message we commonly hear is to “believe in ourselves and have faith in our own abilities.” Although developing confidence is undeniably a key part of being an athlete, and research even goes to show there may be a relationship between confidence and performance, there is a fine line between confidence and pride. We must be careful to guard against viewing the confidence we need in order to succeed in sports as the source of our assurance, rather than the result of our worth in Christ.
To acquire true wisdom, we must fear the Lord. Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” In fearing the Lord, we can be truly confident and free. Because of Christ, we can be secure and fearless despite whatever faces us — not because of an adequacy that comes from ourselves, but because of God, who liberates us from the bondage of sin to ultimate triumph over death. Christ is in whom we place our trust and certainty. In Him we put our confidence first.
Whether you’re going through a string of disappointing performances, currently sitting on the bench, were recently let go from a team, or are having the run of your life, remember that your worth is found in Christ alone. God promises His children refuge, and our confidence cannot be lost when it is rooted in the steady Rock of Christ. Nothing can shake what it cannot move.
Focus on believing in God Almighty, instead of believing in your own power and might. He will supply everything you need to meet the challenge in front of you. Take heart in Him, find hope in Him and seek Him with every ounce of yourself. Fear breeds a fixation on self-confidence, but a fear in the Lord results in fastening ourselves to Christ’s love. In Christ you can find freedom, joy and victory.
— Victoria Yu, author of “Athletes in the Hand of a Sovereign God”
If you would like to submit a reader devotional, please email all submissions to