Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Thursday, April 25 - Cultivating Peace

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 4:7

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The world of athletics can be a pressure cooker. Relentless training, performance anxiety, the constant chase for victory, long hours — it’s enough to leave even the most seasoned athlete, coach or employee feeling stressed and uncentered.

As Christians, we can rely on God to provide peace even during the most grueling times. Philippians 4:7 reminds us, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” This peace isn’t the absence of challenges or obstacles, but a deep-seated calm that allows us to navigate the storms of competition and life with a perspective rooted in Christ.

So how can Christian athletes, coaches and employees tangibly cultivate this peace amidst the chaos?

Trust in God’s plan: Surrender to God’s plan and trust that He has a purpose for your journey, win or lose. “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

Focus on the process: Athletes spend countless hours training and refining their skills. Finding joy in the process allows you to be present in the moment rather than fixating on outcomes you can’t control.

Practice gratitude: Take time to appreciate the blessings in your life, the talents you’ve been given, and the opportunity to compete. Paul instructs us to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Prayer: Prayer isn’t just about requesting things from God. It’s about opening a channel of communication, expressing your worries, and seeking the Lord’s guidance. The act of surrendering your anxieties to God will foster peace and acceptance.

Realize the bigger picture: Sports are a temporary pursuit. Your faith, however, is eternal. Keeping this perspective allows you to approach competition with a healthy detachment, focused on giving your best effort and honoring God through your actions.

Cultivating peace isn’t a one-time event; it’s a continuous action. By incorporating these practices into your daily routines and even pre-game rituals, you can find a center of calm amidst the competitive storm. With faith as your foundation, you can compete with peace, knowing that your worth is defined not by trophies, but by your relationship with God. Take a deep breath, center yourself in your faith in God, and step onto the field or court or into the office with peace in your heart.

— Elizabeth Donnelly

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