"I have great confidence in you; I have great pride in you. I am filled with encouragement; I am overcome with joy in all our afflictions." -2 Corinthians 7:4
Have you ever been nervous before a big game? Have you ever felt like quitting an event before you even got started? The first time I competed in the Boston Marathon, I didn’t think I belonged in the race. As I sat on the starting line, in my mind I was yelling at my coach, I don’t belong in this race! I’m not strong enough!
However, one of the most amazing things happened to me that day. Although on the starting line I doubted my ability to even finish the famous Boston Marathon, 26 miles later I had won the race and broken the world record by almost seven minutes! I was stronger than I thought I was!
When the Israelites were preparing to enter the land of Canaan, they were most likely also a bit nervous. Moses had died and they were now under the leadership of Joshua. However, God told them to be strong and courageous, for He was about to give the land that He had promised to them. He said to Joshua:
I have given you every place where the sole of your foot treads, just as I promised Moses. Your territory will be from the wilderness and Lebanon to the great Euphrates River—all the land of the Hittites—and west to the Mediterranean Sea. No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will not leave you or forsake you (Joshua 1:3-5).
Being nervous before an event is normal. It tells us that what we’re about to do is important. But God encourages us in the Bible to be brave and to take courage by performing for Him, the audience of One.
Don’t allow those anxious feelings to keep you from challenging yourself. The outcome could surprise you!
- Can you describe a time when you were anxious before a competition? Where was your focus? Were you able to overcome your anxiety?
- What situations in competition typically make you anxious? If your approach to that situation was not anxious but courageous, on what would you be focusing?
- What truths of the Bible can you use to remind yourself of all that God gives you a son or daughter of the King?
- Out of competition, do you seek the Lord’s strength to help you overcome little worries that plague your day?
Joshua 1:9; 2 Samuel 22:33; Ephesians 3:20; Philippians 4:13
God, help me to be calm and courageous during competition. Help me to focus on You, my audience of One.