Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. - Joshua 1:9
As an NHL player, I’ve never been quick to admit my fears, but I’ve definitely had them. When facing Edmonton in game seven of the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals, I was more nervous than I’d ever been in my athletic career. Leaning on God during that game helped me find strength to face my fears head on. We ended up winning the game and the Stanley Cup, a first for the Carolina Hurricanes.
When our third son, Joey, was born, I dealt with a different kind of fear. I had just been traded to Ottawa, and we were in the playoffs at Pittsburgh. My wife Bridget went into labor, and I couldn’t get home in time for the delivery. When I got word that Joey was having problems with his lungs, I had to rely heavily on my relationship with the Lord to keep fear from creeping in. He gave me peace to trust that He was taking care of my son and that everything would be okay.
Fear is a natural reaction and something we all have to face from time to time. But the Bible clearly tells us that we don’t have to be afraid when troublesome circumstances come our way. Joshua 1:9 encourages us that to conquer fear, we need to remember that God’s always with us, no matter what.
The truth is that we only give in to fear when we fail to fully trust God. So instead of succumbing to our fears, let’s courageously acknowledge them and then take them to God in prayer. He will faithfully give us the courage to walk through any challenge we face within our sport, our health, our finances, our relationships and every other aspect of our lives.
1. When have you experienced fear? How did you handle it?
2. How is fear related to a lack of trust in God?
3. Read Joshua 1:9. What are some of God’s characteristics that make it easier to overcome fear?
Lord, give me courage when life’s troubles come my way. Remind me of who You are so that I can be courageous and capable of facing any trying situation. Amen.