This is part two of my recent article series. The previous article, “Finding Strength Through Weakness: What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger” ties in with this post by asserting that God uses challenges and hardships to answer prayers. Let’s jump right in and examine the following 2 passages.
Romans 5: 3-5 states, “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 states, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
These verses tie into overcoming adversity in sports by encouraging believers to view their sufferings, weaknesses, and challenges as opportunities for growth and character development. Romans emphasizes that suffering produces perseverance and character, ultimately leading to hope. The verses from Corinthians remind believers that God's grace is sufficient and that His power is made perfect in weakness. This means that when athletes face challenges and difficulties, they can rely on God's grace and power to help them overcome and become stronger. By embracing these principles, athletes can persevere through adversity and become more resilient and confident.
The idea of using challenges to build inner strength and character reminds me of the way the body builds muscle. When you perform strength training exercises or other forms of physical activity that stress your muscles, you cause micro-tears in the muscle fibers. These micro-tears stimulate your body to repair and rebuild the damaged muscle tissue, increasing muscle strength and size. This process is known as muscle hypertrophy.
The main similarity lies in going through difficult or uncomfortable experiences, whether physical or otherwise, to become stronger or better. Just as an athlete tears down their muscles to build them back up stronger, Biblical writers suggest that going through difficult times can lead to personal growth, strength, and character development.
Both biblical verses demonstrate the power of faith and perseverance in the face of adversity. Athletes can draw strength and inspiration from these teachings, viewing challenges as opportunities for growth and character development. Just as the body builds muscle through micro-tears, individuals can also build inner strength through difficult experiences. By embracing these principles and relying on God's grace and power, athletes can become more resilient, confident, and stronger on and off the court.