Training Today for Tomorrow's Triumph


“No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” – Hebrews 12:11


Bob Bowman coached Michael Phelps and helped him grow physically and mentally stronger. He put Phelps through intense and high-pressure situations, which at the time caused Phelps to be uncomfortable and even suffer a bit. In one practice, Bowman intentionally broke Phelps’s goggles and made him continue practicing. Phelps completed a tough and painful practice with water blinding his vision. But it would be worth it as he began his 100-meter butterfly race in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

As he was competing for his seventh medal and about to break the world record, Phelps’s goggles broke, and water flooded into his eyes. But Phelps had gone through the discipline of broken goggles with his coach. He remembered his training and continued… winning a gold medal.

No discipline is enjoyable at any point in our lives, but seeds are being planted in us. Although discipline may be tough, we celebrate when we see the fruit that grows from the seeds of that discipline and training. We can rejoice when we realize why we went through it.

God sometimes leads us into challenging situations that train us and discipline us. When He does this, we usually don’t enjoy it but wish we could run from it. However, just like Hebrews states, later on, we’ll realize why God put us through it.

Coach Bowman knew to train his athlete because he loved Phelps and wanted to see him succeed. God trains us each day because He loves us and wants our faith to be ready so we can succeed in all we face.

So, when times of suffering, pain, temptation, hardships or other trials come our way, let us rejoice even in the pain, even when it doesn’t seem enjoyable because God is growing us, strengthening us and promising to use those moments to make our faith increase.

  • In sports, how do painful practices help when it’s gameday?
  • Have you ever been through a hard time that helped you later in life?
  • How can we encourage other Christians who are currently facing a hard time?

“God, You are like a coach to me. Thank You for coaching me and stretching me with moments that may seem hard and painful but will help me later. I trust Your discipline and thank You for it. I know You will get me through the hard moments and stay with me all the way till the good ones. Amen.”