Your daily Olympic devotional
A snippet from a new sports devotional, The Spirit of Victory. Available through your favourite bookstore.
Winners in Life: you can be a loser in sport, but still be a winner in life. - Psalm 1
One of the great men I have had the privilege of meeting in life was Ron Williams. Ron was an Aboriginal elder and evangelist who travelled all over Australia, bringing the good news of Jesus to all. Ron was the father of Lydia, accomplished goalkeeper for the Matilda’s (the Australian Women’s Football team).
When Lydia was playing junior football, the team lost many games. After such losses, Ron would go and encourage the entire team with the same words “Remember girls, you can be a loser in sport, but still be a winner in life!” What wisdom is distilled in those words!
Psalm 1 is about being a winner in life, despite all the things that would hinder us and come against us. It focuses on the godly life versus the ungodly life. Such a person has a life of fruitfulness. Here, we are given a picture of life and wholeness and human flourishing.
It is delighting in the Law of the Lord so that it is not only read but joyfully obeyed. This is the way Jesus lived every day and even though He died upon a Cross, friendless and forsaken, He rose again from the dead, prospering forever and being able to give new life and hope to all who approach Him.
Jesus is under no illusion of what will make us winners in life. In John 16:33 He says to the disciples “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
To be a winner we must overcome adversity, opposition and hostility. Romans 12:21 says “Don’t be overcome with evil; but overcome evil with good.” Paul, along with other believers, faced trials, distress, persecution, famine and many other dangers.
However, he could still say, “yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” To be a winner in life we need the love of God within us, the Holy Spirit to strengthen us and God’s Word to guide us.
Peter Nelson the Australian Institute of Sport chaplain for 29 years (Ret), 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Olympics Chaplain. Peter’s story