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By Jared Siglin

Psalms 46:10 - “Be still, and know that I am God.”

Luke 12:32 - “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.”

Joshua 1:9 - “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Isaiah 41:13 - “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you.”

Anyone who has played the game of hockey or observed it being played for that matter will quickly become aware that it is not a game for the faint of heart or the timid. It is a physical game requiring the right balance of strength, speed, and endurance. But the character traits present in a hockey player go far and beyond the physical. To succeed on the ice, athletes will undoubtedly call upon toughness and a relentless will. Whether it is a defenseman perfectly willing to take a hard hit in his own zone to make a precise pass and create a breakout, or a goalie standing his ground as an opposing forward drives hard to the net, there is no mistaking the courage called upon and needed to achieve great things on the ice. And who can forget the art of a blocked shot, where a player will skate toward an opponent who is in the process of winding up a slap shot, with the sole purpose of laying his body on the line to protect his goal. Hockey players very much do have, as one anonymous person once stated, “fire in their hearts and ice in their veins.” The determination to win and drive to be successful overwhelms any fear. Belief and desire makes the truly elite hockey player fearless in the face of danger.

We must play our game fearless and with courage in order to achieve great things, and this is also exactly how God desires we live our lives. As the nation of Israel sat at the edge of the Jordan River, looking into a beautiful land that had been promised to them by God, the leader Joshua stood at a crossroads. You see, Joshua was inexperienced in his position of leadership. He had watched as God did amazing things through Moses in leading the Israelite people out of slavery and to this point standing on the precipice of greatness. But it was now up to Joshua. Like the penalty killer who spots the opposing blue-liner winding up a shot with an open lane to goal, he needed to rise up amidst the fear, seize the task before him, and move forward. It was at this crossroads, of rising up to the challenge or sinking back in fear, where God spoke strong words to the young leader.

“Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross the Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel...No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you...Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:2,5,9)

Joshua was called to a fearless life. He was instructed to rise up and master his fear. He was given a promise that he was not alone and that he would succeed because God was with him and would not leave him. The results were extraordinary. Joshua led the nation of Israel into the promised land and into greatness. All because Joshua believed that God was greater than his fear.

These words spoken to Joshua are also being spoken to all of us. Fear is a paralyzing force and a difficult opponent to defeat. But our God is greater! He wants us to rise up to fear in all of its forms. God speaks to fear and tells us to not be afraid in the Bible over 300 times. It is definitely a very important concept. He knows how crucial it is to face fear and defeat it. And he promises that we, like Joshua, have the ability to master it and His presence with us at all times no matter what.

“The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.”
Psalms 29:11

“Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you, declares the Lord.”
Jeremiah 1:8

When we look fear in the eyes and respond with the strength and peace promised to us by God, believing that God is greater and will rescue us, it is then we will discover true freedom to press forward no matter what is ahead. We will experience victory after victory and will see that no matter what in life may be winding up,we will have confidence to lay out and block that shot. Play your game fearless! Live fearless!

Discussion Questions

  1. Think about a time on the ice where you felt some fear rise up. Maybe seeing a hit coming or skating out for a penalty shot. What was your response and what was the result?
  2. Now think of a time in your life off the ice where you felt fear rise up. How did you respond?
  3. Read Psalms 29:11 and Jeremiah 1:8 again. When fear rises up, what do you think God is saying about those fears?
  4. What does it mean practically to you to play fearless and live fearless?
  5. The next time you’re in the fight and spot fear, what verse, word, or phrase will you use as a reminder that God is greater, He is with you, He will rescue you, and you need not fear?

Further Reading

  1. Psalms 27
  2. Psalms 46
  3. Philippians 4:6-7
  4. Joshua 1:1-9

About the Author

Jared is originally from Newburgh, NY but moved to North Carolina to attend college at Appalachian State University, where he earned a BS degree in Physical Education, followed by graduate school at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he graduated with an MS degree in Exercise Science and Athletic Training. Sports has always been a major part of his life, growing up playing multiple sports and continuing his soccer career into college. It was in college where his eyes were opened to the heart of Jesus in a new way and he discovered the freedom and abundant life of living from his own restored heart in an intimate relationship with God.  He has worked for the past seven years as an athletic trainer at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC and this year began his first year as athletic trainer and instructor at Page County High School in VA. He and his wife Ashley currently reside outside Harrisonburg, VA where he has taken up the new challenge of attempting to master the game of golf while continuing to fanatically support his hometown Mets, Giants, and Rangers.

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