Your daily Olympic devotional
A snippet from a new sports devotional, The Spirit of Victory. Available through your favourite bookstore.
Fight the good fight! Following Jesus all the way to the end - “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7
Shaunae Miller-Uibo is a track and field athlete from the Bahamas. In 2016 she was in the final of the 400 meters sprint against American Allyson Felix, a 6-time Olympic gold medalist.
Shaunae-Miller started strongly and was leading heading towards the finish line when Felix pulled up alongside her. The race was neck and neck with Felix looking stronger and Shaunae-Miller beginning to struggle. In the final meters of the race, the unthinkable happened. Shaunae-Miller dived for the line.
It's unclear whether her diving was deliberate or whether she simply collapsed having given her all. In a photo finish, it was Shaunae-Miller's dive that made the difference giving her the gold medal in one of the most memorable Olympic finals in history.
Shaunea-Miller ran a personal best time of 49.44 with no one in any doubt that she gave it everything. She left nothing in the tank in her pursuit of gold. Paul too (2 Timothy 4:7) has given his all in the pursuit of a much bigger prize.
Paul stuck with Jesus through some incredibly difficult circumstances. What was the secret to his endurance? I believe the secret to his endurance was that he treasured his relationship with Jesus and never lost sight of eternity.
Paul treasured Jesus so much that he was willing to withstand all kinds of punishment. In an Olympic final an athlete might keep playing even though they are injured. They might be in obvious pain and yet they play on. The reason is simple: they want to win the prize!
The athlete's pain will be temporary, but the gold medal will be theirs forever. That’s how Paul kept focused on his mission and endured suffering; he treasured Jesus and never lost sight of the prize!
Is Jesus your greatest treasure? Is He more than a story? Is He someone you follow and a cause that you live for? To fight the good fight and follow Jesus all the way to the end, he must be your greatest treasure.
The tests and trials of life, the good and bad things that happen will test whether Jesus is truly the king in your life.
Travis Barnes lives in central Victoria with his wife and two daughters. He is a contributor for Christian Today and a sportswriter.