Athlete, You Have Strength in Suffering

You Have Strength in Suffering

24  “Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!”

Psalm 31:24 (ESV)

It’s easier to pray to God when things are going well. But how do we pray when times get difficult?

Maybe you recently suffered an injury, your team lost a big game or you just feel dissatisfied with life. Like you, I’ve been there!

In these moments, the world doesn't teach us to fall on our knees in search of God’s heart. It teaches us to medicate in some other way such as relying on ourselves, pouring ourselves into our sport or studies and many other ways.

But Psalm 31 gives us an authentic picture of how David prayed to God in suffering. David knew what suffering meant. Check out 1 and 2 Samuel sometime.

Imagine hanging out in your best friend’s home, and then your friend’s dad comes in and tries to kill you … insane, right? Well, that happened to David, but he still prayed to the Lord.

Here’s how he did it in Psalm 31:

  1. Remember the ways that God has saved you in the past (Psalm 31:3,4). David says that God is his a rock and his fortress. Write down how God has saved you and loved you.

  2. Turn to God and nothing else (Psalm 31:5,6). Nothing on earth can fully satisfy our hearts. In verse 5, David says that he commits his spirit into God’s hand.

  3. Be real with yourself (Psalm 31:7-10). David had been weeping. As athletes, we are taught to be “strong” which can lead to suppressing our emotions.

I know I hate to be seen crying because I want people to see strength in me. But sometimes true strength comes by being truly authentic.

  1. Ask God to hear you and help you (Psalm 31:14-16). David says he trusts in the Lord, and he asks God to save him.

  2. Thank God for saving you (Psalm 31:21-24)! David calls the Lord “blessed” and thanks God for His steadfast love.

Praising God in our trials is difficult, but God is bigger than any circumstance.

A prayer to consider: Dear Father, it is hard to trust You right now. But help me see how You constantly love me and want the best for my life.

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