8The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. 10 He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. 11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. 12 He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. – Psalm 103: 8-12

How different is God from us? While we are quickly agitated by the little inconveniences and annoyances that people do around us, our God is “slow to anger and filled with unfailing love.” We are quick to gossip, judge, and blame others whereas our God does not accuse or treat us as we deserve. Do you know the distance between the earth and the heavens? How about from the east to the west? Oh, how our God loves us.

God’s love changes the way we compete. No longer do we play in fear and self-doubt, but confidence and security. Instead of being chained by people’s opinions, we are set free by the delight of our Heavenly Father, empowered to play with joy. All because of the blood of Jesus, our God does not stand as our accuser, but rather as our defender and advocate. It is for these reasons that sports do not have to be our hiding place. We often use sports as an escape, hoping our success will distract from our worries, failures, brokenness, and sin. Although the temptation is to run to them, sports can never be a refuge comparable to the love of God.

Do you feel accused today? Are you carrying burdens? The challenge and opportunity you have is to abide in God’s unconditional love as your refuge. Recognize and trust the truth of His presence. When we surrender our lives into the loving hands of God, everything else finds its rightful place. Sports remain a game we enjoy and competition an opportunity to praise our Lord.

  • Prayerfully meditate on God’s love for you. Thank God for His great love.
  • Have you been using sports as a refuge? Repent and ask God to be your refuge.
  • Spend some time slowly reading the passage again. What is the Spirit emphasizing?

Pre-Game Playlist: