Athlete, When The Suffering Is Worth It


Athlete, When The Suffering Is Worth It

Matt Osborne

Romans 8:18 (ESV)

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

It is interesting to sit and contemplate the things to which elite athletes willingly subject themselves in order to attempt to gain a competitive advantage.

It is not uncommon for athletes to sacrifice sleep, eating preferences, and physical comfort in order to better set themselves up for success.

So why do so many athletes willingly endure grueling workouts that put tremendous strain on their bodies? Why do they choose to make themselves suffer in such a difficult manner?

Ultimately, the answer to those questions is that athletes believe that the suffering they must endure will be worth it in the end. They believe that the temporary discomfort is worth the long-term benefits.

As followers of Jesus, we regularly have to make choices as to whether or not we’ll willingly subject ourselves to suffering for a particular purpose.

Do we compromise our standards to fit in with the culture … or boldly stand for truth knowing that it might bring persecution?

Do we share the gospel with our unbelieving friends and co-workers with the risk of painful rejection … or choose to avoid any potential discomfort by being silent? In other words, are we willing to step up and potentially subject ourselves to suffering when it’s hard and uncomfortable?

Our response to these types of situations ultimately determines whether or not we believe the end result is worth the suffering.

When we recognize the importance of honoring and obeying Jesus, we won’t compromise on biblical truth because pleasing God is of greater value than living in false peace with man.

When we place value on the eternal well-being of those close to us, we should willingly share the gospel because we want them to know Jesus more than we want to be comfortable.

The apostle Paul expresses this sentiment in 2 Timothy 2:9b-10 (ESV): “…I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the Word of God is not bound! Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”

Today, let’s remember that there are certain types of suffering that we should be willing to endure for the sake of Christ and others. Let’s be encouraged that any suffering we might endure during our brief lives will be well worth it in the end.

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18; ESV).

Reflect: How have you experienced suffering because of your faith in the past? What are some valuable truths we can meditate upon in order to see that our temporary suffering is worth the eternal reward?

A prayer to consider: Heavenly Father, thank You that any suffering I endure for following You pales in comparison to the glory of eternity with You. Please help me be bold and courageous, and willing to endure suffering for Your sake and the sake of mankind. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

Matt Osborne is part of UNPACKIN’ it Ministries and the UNPACKIN’ it Podcast. Go to:

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