Always in Training
Every athlete exercises self-control in all things.
They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
1 Corinthians 9:25
From a sports blog: “Many young players make the mistake of thinking NBA players just play. Nothing could be further from the truth. These guys are great players because they work on their game every day.” This holds true for every person who makes a difficult job look easy. Success comes not just from natural ability or training. It is earned by those who work at their skills every day. Athletes must train on off days and in the off season, or they won’t last.
Sometimes when I’ve counseled or taught people I find myself quoting Scriptures that I don’t recall memorizing. It seemed effortless and natural. Why? Not because I am smarter than most, and I certainly don’t have a good memory. It is a result of regular meditation in God’s Word, which by repetition over a long time becomes a part of my heart and mind. It is easier to apply God’s Word to a situation when you have spent time learning it for yourself.
For instance, if you have a friend who is sharing with you some difficult times, confessing a sin or regret, or just needing encouragement, are you equipped to share God’s forgiveness, presence, and comfort? You are, if you have spent time meditating on how God’s Word speaks into your own life forgiveness in Christ, the presence of a loving Father, and the comfort of the Holy Spirit. Paul expressed this wonderfully when he wrote, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3–4
Training our hearts and minds by the Scriptures to know God not only prepares us for the spiritual contests that we will face, but it also empowers us to bless others. So then, for the sake of others and for ourselves, let us be always in training with God’s Word of wisdom and comfort.