Toughness Pt. 2


“Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them; and after having Jesus flogged, he handed him over to be crucified.”  Mark 15:15


In part one on toughness, we looked at how trust, courage, commitment and acceptance of a role are elements of toughness that Jesus showed.  Today, we look at persistence and resilience.

Jay Bilas, in his book Toughness, defines persistence as "your ability to keep going without giving up or giving in." Resilience refers to the ability to bounce back from adversity. Bilas tells the story of his Duke teammate Mark Alarie and the preseason mile run that the Duke players had to do. Alarie had outrun Bilas in the previous two seasons, so Jay put in extra work to try to beat him. Bilas ran a 5:40 mile, his best ever, but Alarie ran a 5:11. Alarie said, "The mile run is about how much pain I am willing to endure," a great illustration of resilience and persistence.

Jesus showed the greatest example of resilience and persistence. The amount of pain He endured in order to fulfill His mission was far beyond the most demanding preseason workouts. Every breath He took while on the cross was trading one searing pain for another, whether it was his arms when He pulled up to breathe or His feet when He let go.

When you think that you cannot go on during your training, remember what pain Jesus endured for you.

Julie Foudy, a former star of the U.S. women’s national soccer team: "Your threshold is not what you think it is. You can do more; you can give more."

We as believers know this, and we know it can be given as a sacrifice of praise to our God.

  1. Have you set limits on yourself for your training or performance that you really could exceed?
  2. What is something God may be asking you to sacrifice as praise to Him?

Matthew 26:26-29

Mark 15:21-41

John 11:48-53


Jesus, You were and are the greatest example of sacrifice, persistence and resilience.  We honor You for that and ask for Your strength as we seek to show persistence and resilience inside and outside of our sports. In Jesus' name, Amen.