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19 Empowering Bible Verses for Athletes, Competition & Winning

October 18, 2021

Bible Verses for Athletes

Are you an athlete who is looking for an inspirational scripture or Bible Study to motivate you and encourage you in your athletic journey? God has given you the gift of athleticism for a reason. Everything He has done in your life is to lead you to Him.

He longs for you to follow after Him. He desires for you to use your gifts to glorify Him. The following verses and Bible stories are meant to lift you up and help you run this race, called the Christian life, well.

Motivational Bible verses for Athletes

Isaiah 40:28

“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.”

What a great scripture for us to hope in! The God of the Universe, Creator of everything, never tires or grows weary. He is not weak in any way. He is the One with whom we draw our strength. We will not grow faint or weary if we put our trust in Him and allow Him to be our strength.

Psalm 28:7

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: Therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.”

Our help comes from the Lord. If we put our trust in Him, we can lean on Him as our strength and shield. When we trust in Him, He in turn helps us through difficult times. Maybe for you this means difficulties on and off of the field (or court). Put your trust in Him today and you will feel your heart rejoice!

Psalm 73:26

“My flesh and my heart faileth: But God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.”

God’s plan never fails. He never fails. His strength and power are perfect and always accomplish what they are supposed to accomplish. If you put your trust in Him, you will better glorify Him. You will see Him do miraculous things in your life.

Deuteronomy 31:6

“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

We never have to be afraid when we rely on the Lord. He will not fail us when we trust in Him. He is the same God who created the Universe. That same God will give you the strength and courage to accomplish great things in His name.

Ecclesiastes 9:10

“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”

If you follow the Lord with all your heart, you will bring Him honor and be able to witness to those around you. This verse tells us that whatever you do, do it all in His name. Do it all for Him. So no matter what you play, work at it with all of your heart.

Bible Verses about Competition

Isaiah 40:29-31

“He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Throughout the Bible we see how God cares for the weak. Matthew 5:5 says, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” God holds them in high regard.

Maybe this is because they do not rely on their own strengths, but instead look to the Lord for their strength. Those who do this will see the Lord do great things. He renews them. This is how we should live our lives everyday.

1 Corinthians 9:27

“but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

As an athlete, you train and make sure your body is prepared for competition. If you are losing, then you train more to stay focused and ready for the next game. The same is said of the Christian life. If you feel like you are struggling in your Christian life, then train and refocus so you can run the race well.

Hebrews 12:11-12

“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;”

Discipline can be difficult. It is never pleasing or enjoyable, but it reaps a good reward. Discipline brings about perseverance and hope. It produces a righteousness that you cannot find otherwise. As an athlete and as a Christian you should desire the type of discipline it takes to bring honor to the Lord.

1 Timothy 4:8

“For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”

Physical training brings about benefits for the athlete. It creates a winning spirit and can strengthen a team. As beneficial as physical training is, godly training is even better. It produces a reward stored in heaven for the believer and can strengthen relationships with other believers. Most of all, it gives the believer a godly hope. So do not just invest in your physical training, but in your relationship with God, too.

1 Corinthians 9:26

“I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:”

 

As an athlete, if you do not set goals and play with purpose, then you will not go very far. You must hope in your ability and work hard to achieve your goals.

As Christians we have a great hope. We do not live with uncertainty, but have great purpose in everything we do. We do not beat the air aimlessly, but instead walk with ambition.

Deuteronomy 8:17-18

“and thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.”

When you play on a team, you win as a team and you lose as a team. Every person bears the responsibility. No one person can take the credit or the blame. The Christian life is the same way. You cannot take the credit for the blessings and successes you experience as a believer. You must give all glory to God.

Exodus 14:14

“The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”

When you compete as an athlete, you depend on other people to help you succeed or win. In our Christian walk, we should depend on God. This verse tells us that He will go before us and fight our battles. We need only to put our trust in Him.

Bible verses about Winning

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

When we put our hope in Christ, we will experience the great ways He works in our lives. He will give us the strength we need to compete in this life. With Him on our side we can accomplish anything life throws at us!

Matthew 19:26

“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”

With God all things are possible. He is the one who can accomplish great things. When we put our faith in Him, we will get to be a part of the great things He is doing. We have to believe that He can do those things. He will have the victory!

2 Timothy 1:7

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

We do not have to be afraid of anything. He has not given us a spirit of fear, but instead He has instilled His power and love in us. He has also given us a sound mind. We do not have to allow fear to cloud our view of all of the things God is doing. Trust in Him and do not be afraid! You will see victories over your life when you are not afraid!

2 Timothy 4:7-8

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

Paul was able to say with confidence that he had fought the good fight. He had kept the course and never veered off once he came to know the Lord. He would receive the great reward, the crown of righteousness because of his faithfulness. When we put time in our relationship with God and keep the course, we will see great reward.

1 Corinthians 9:24

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.”

Just as an athlete's ultimate goal is to win the race and obtain the prize or reward, the believer should run the race of faith with heaven and an eternity with Christ in mind. He should be the reward that motivates them to persevere.

1 Corinthians 9:25

“And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.”

No matter how hard you train as an athlete, your reward will still be perishable. It is not lasting. Even the victory will not last forever. However, the rewards we receive as Christians are imperishable.

They will never go away. They cannot be corrupted. So how much more should we invest in our spiritual lives knowing that it will be a greater reward? Train as though you are training to win the race!

Hebrews 12:1-2

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

As athletes, we are surrounded by people who believe in us and encourage us to push ourselves so that we can achieve our goals. As Christians, we are also surrounded by people who have invested in our spiritual lives and encourage us to walk the Christian walk. These people are part of our great cloud of witnesses as this verse says!

Bible Stories About Athletes

Moses

Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and to the promised land. God called him to be a leader during a time of persecution for God’s people. He had to do a lot of hard things. He had to deliver news of God’s wrath to Pharoah, during which he pleaded for Pharaoh to accept God’s grace. He then had to foretell of the consequences for rejecting God.

Everyday he had to rely on God’s provision for His people as he led them out of slavery and into the wilderness. He performed miracles and saw the power of God, but he also had to continue to lead the people even when they turned on him and began trusting in other gods. Moses is a picture of how to lead in faith. Moses could have never done things on His own. He needed to trust and follow God.

No matter what sport you play, God has given you a position of leadership. You can either choose to reject Him and try to do it on your own or accept the position He has given you and glorify Him. Choose to be like Moses!

David

David was a young boy when he slain the giant soldier, Goliath. Goliath boasted of his size before the Israelites and challenged them to fight and beat him. While everyone else ran away from the fight in fear, David (just a shepherd boy) ran toward the fight in faith.

The size of the fight did not matter to David. He would have gone to fight the battle God laid before him no matter the size of the fight. He believed that God would go before Him and show His greatness.

After he volunteered to fight Goliath, he refused the armour King Saul tried to give Him, and instead relied on his faith and a slingshot. Do you have a Goliath in your life that you need slain? First, be willing to say yes to the Lord, and then walk toward your fight in faith as David did!

Paul

Paul speaks of running the Christian race several times in His letters. He understood that race very well. For the first part of his life, he followed religious traditions and rituals because he was a Pharisee (or religious leader) who studied the law.

He had no tolerance for Christians and their belief in Jesus Christ until one day, he encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus. He heard the voice of the Savior saying, “Saul, why are you persecuting me?” That was the beginning of his Christian faith journey. He changed his identity to reflect his new life and never looked back.

He served the Lord faithfully and led many to the Lord. He endured persecution and hardships all in the name of the Lord. So what can we learn from his life? Your walk with Christ should reflect the new life he has given you. It should be a complete repentance experience!

Prayers for Athletes

Asking the Lord for Strength

Dear Lord,

Give me the strength I need to run the race well and honor you in all that I do. May I always give you the glory instead of taking credit for my ability. May I rely on your strength and determination and give my weaknesses over to you so I can better serve you. May others see my life as a witness to the Christian faith. May my life point toward you. Amen.

Asking for Faith through Failure

Dear Lord,

I know that in this journey I will stumble and fall. I will fail at times. Lift me up and give me the courage to walk this faith-filled road. Help me be brave in using my ability to glorify you- in my successes and failures and in good times and bad. Amen.

 

Conclusion

God has given you such a beautiful talent to be used for Him. Spend time with Him daily to grow as an athlete and more importantly, grow in your walk with the Lord. Just as you have to train your body to be better at your sport, you need to train your heart and mind to know His Word so you are equipped to fight the good fight. He longs to spend time with you as you walk throughout your day whether it is first thing when you awake, as you train your body for your sport, or before you lay your head down.



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