I have a nephew who is so big that he was encouraged to try out for his high school football team. When he came home after the first couple of practices, every muscle in his body was sore, and he was bruised all over. I'm sure he wondered whether all the hard work and bruises were worth it. But he went back to practice again and again. He'd come home and say, "I got through it with all these bruises, and I did my best. I think I did good!" Then one day he came home and said, "I don't care about the bruises. We won! We won!" He realized from experience that the bruises didn't have to stop him. The bruises are just a part of the game, and he's on the winning team!
I want you to know today that bumps and bruises come to all of us. But remind yourself that you are on God's team. You're on the winning side. You have every reason to say, "These bruises may hurt, but they're not stopping me because I am going to win! I'm going to break through the barriers that are trying to hold me down."
The apostle Paul said, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7). Do you know that fear is not of God? Whether it's a fear of being taken advantage off, of failing, of being laughed at,or of being hurt again, God says, "That is not from Me. A spirit of fear is from the enemy to keep you from reaching the fullness of your destiny." Rather, the Most High God has given you the power to go through the process and win! He has given you His love, and there's nothing greater than the love of Almighty God! His love broke the curse of sin and death and breaks the chains that would hold you back. And God has given you a sound mind, a balanced mind, a mind that is able to discern truth from lies and fear from faith.
Today, you have the power and all you need to walk in faith. Sometimes we just need a reminder that we can be strong because the Most High God is on our side! You are on the winning team!