Advantage of Adversity


“You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result — the survival of many people. Therefore don’t be afraid....” -- Genesis 50:20-21


Athletes typically respect one another. We all share a single-minded, committed lifestyle that tends to be laced with adversity, but adversity is the price we pay to excel. An athlete’s identity and purpose all too often hinge on performance. So, what happens when adversity strikes, making our performance less than ideal?

It’s important to remember that what we see as adversity, God sees as opportunity. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers (Genesis 38) and was imprisoned for 13 years for a crime he did not commit. Nevertheless, in the end, Joseph was able to say, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good...” And he was right. Joseph became second in command over all of Egypt.

When I was a young man, playing ball meant the world to me. God blessed me with natural ability, and I excelled at my sport. Then adversity struck. The first NFL team that signed me, cut me. Feeling like a failure, I grudgingly headed to Tampa Bay to play for the Bandits of the USFL. It was there, through the Bandits’ chapel program, that I met Jesus, and then God called me to do youth ministry.

Whether we are deceived, beaten, jailed, surrounded by lions, or cut from a team, we are being prepped through adversities for divine opportunity.

  • What adversity have you faced in your athletic career?
  • How have you chosen, or how will you choose, to respond to the adversities in your life or in your sport?

“Lord, I pray for grace and humility to see my troubles as opportunity for blessing, and as a means for You to be glorified through my life. Amen.”