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FAITH - Confidence in What We Hope For | Weekly Devo

Every coach and athlete has been afraid, nervous, and anxious before or during a game at some point (or all of the time). They are natural responses when you are doing something that you love because when you love something and you want to be good at it, there is some pressure that comes with it.

I knew a great athlete who would put her hair in her mouth every time she got nervous. She was confident in herself and her abilities, but she was still nervous in the big games. We gave her 5 simple tools to help her with her nervousness: 1 - Focus on the now. Don’t focus on what could happen; focus on doing what you need to do right now. Now could mean tying your shoes, putting on your jersey, getting a good stretch, or making the game-winning shot. Don’t worry about what could happen. Keep your mind focused on what is happening and on doing the next, best thing. 2 - Find a routine. When you have a good routine, you can focus more on the now instead of allowing your mind to wander. Having a shooting routine can help you make a game-winning free-throw, hit the game-winning home run, or shoot the game-winning penalty kick. 3 - Breathe deeply. The Harvard Medical School has found that deep breathing can “slow the heartbeat and lower or stabilize blood pressure.” This can help you stay calm and ready to do what you need to do to be successful. 4 - Accept failure. Michael Jordan once said, “I have failed over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.” Failure is a part of life. You won’t make every shot, and you won’t win every game. One miss or one loss doesn’t define you. Just play hard… 5 - … And have fun. We play sports because we want to win and get in good shape. We also play sports because they are fun. Never lose the joy of playing the games you love. My final tool is to have faith in your preparation. The harder you work, the more confidence and faith you will have that you will do well. The Bible talks a lot about having faith. Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:3 says that by faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command. Faith is having complete trust or confidence in someone or something. That something can be in the hard work you put in, or it can be in God and the fact that God created the world Jesus died for us. The story of David and Goliath is one of the most famous stories about putting all of your faith in God. The Israelites, God’s people, were being attacked by the Philistines. Every morning for 40 days, a giant Philistine named Goliath would challenge any Israelite to fight him. Goliath was bigger, taller, and meaner than everyone else, and he wore heavy armor and carried a huge sword, spear, and large shield. Everyone was afraid to fight Goliath; except David. David was a young shepherd who went to the battlefield to check on his older brothers when he found out that everyone was scared of Goliath. David, while taking care of his flock of sheep, once killed both a lion and a bear who tried to attack them, so he was not afraid to take on Goliath. David told the king, Saul, “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” King Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.” They tried to dress David in a coat of armor and a bronze helmet, and give him a large sword to face the giant, but he wasn’t used to them and didn’t want them. David only wanted his slingshot and 5 smooth stones. When we have faith and when we are prepared, all we need is God on our side and not a bunch of extra tools. When David approached Goliath, Goliath made fun of David and cursed at him, but David said back to him, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” As Goliath moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the head. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand, he struck down the Philistine and killed him. David ran and stood over Goliath. He took Goliath's sword after he killed him, he cut off his head. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. That is faith. David had so much faith that he ran at the biggest, meanest, toughest warrior that the Philistines had, he challenged the giant and won. David went on to become one of the most important kings in the Bible. There are popular statues of David all over the world, and it all began because he had faith in God and he wasn’t afraid of the giant in front of him. We all have giants in our lives. Fear, nervousness, and anxiousness are three of them. But with faith, work, and action, we too can overcome those giants and show the world that with and through God, all things are possible. THIS WEEK 1 - What is one time where you did something that you didn’t think you could do? 2 - What is one time where you were afraid to do something but you did it anyway? 3 - What is one time where you let fear or doubt keep you from doing something you wanted to do? 4 - If you could give yourself advice or a Bible verse to use to overcome your fears or doubt, what would it be? 5 BIBLE VERSES ABOUT FAITH 1 - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6 2 - “Now faith is a confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” - Hebrew 11:1 3 - “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” - Romans 8:28 4 - Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. - Psalm 23:4 5 - Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” - Hebrews 13:5-6 For a Google doc version of this Devo, click here: Week 11| Faithfulness

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