33 Motivational Bible Verses for Athletes

Bible verses for athletes encourage us to persevere and to keep going even when things get tough.

Sports have a lot in common with faith. Sports are all about discipline, self-control, and focus. It is all about setting goals and striving to meet or even surpass them. It is a lot like faith. There are a lot of Bible verses that speak to us about faith as well as sports. Let us hear and study the Bible and be blessed.

What are Bible Verses for Athletes?

Being an athlete involves a lot of patience, discipline, and a lot of challenges too. Athletes might feel down, discouraged, or frustrated at times just like any other person. Other times, they might be celebrating their victories, or maybe they are feeling so nervous before a fight that they could barely function.

A lot of times, emotions are hard to handle and work through. Bible verses for athletes can help. They remind us of what God thinks of us and what He wants for us. Bible verses point us to who we are in God’s eyes. They can also motivate and encourage us to give it our all no matter the odds.

Why is it Important to Read Bible Verses for Athletes

Being a Christian is a lifestyle. It involves all the aspects of our lives, even sports! Our light should always be seen. We need to read Bible verses for athletes because they tell us how we should speak and act in our training, in our competitions, in every day of our lives. The Bible is a powerful instruction for us.

These verses also connect us to the early believers. The original Olympic games are believed to have started as early as 776 BCE or even earlier. This means that the early church would have been quite familiar with sports. These verses bridge the thousands of years between us and the early Christians.

Despite the huge gap between time, culture, and traditions, each Bible verse can help us peek at what it was like for them back then. We can establish a common denominator and from there, we can understand them, our faith, and maybe ourselves even more.

Best Bible Verses for Athletes

Preparation/Training

1 Corinthians 9:24

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”

A lot can happen in a race. Some people even end up being unable to finish it. But, if our mindset is fixed on winning the prize, then we will have a lot of advantages.

1 Corinthians 9:25

“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”

One cannot be a successful athlete without undergoing rigorous training. They endure because of their goals, their dreams. We, Christians, persevere for something even greater than that. We are running towards eternal life.

1 Corinthians 9:26-27

“Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

There is always a purpose to everything in sports. There is always a goal. We persevere towards that goal.

Philippians 3:12-13

“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.”

We all have something to improve about ourselves. There is always the next step. We always have something new to achieve. As both Christians and athletes, let us always keep our eyes up ahead.

1 Timothy 4:8

“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”

We have to train our bodies so they can endure more, accomplish more. However, we should never take for granted our relationship with God. It will lead us to victory.

Hebrews 12:1

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

We are not alone in this. We will always have someone rooting for us. Even if no one seems to care, remember that God wants us to succeed. Let us lay down our burdens and run.

2 Timothy 4:7

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

2 Timothy 4:7 is Paul’s powerful testimony. We have to be focused when it comes to training. We cannot afford to be distracted by unimportant things. In sports and faith alike, let us keep our focus on what is important.

2 Timothy 2:5

“And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.”

There are lots of rules in life. Sometimes, they make things harder for us, but let us always remember that rules are there for a reason. They are there to ensure order, fairness, and they are also there to protect us.

Isaiah 40:29

“He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.”

Unlike us, God will never run out of strength and power so when we run out, we can always ask Him for more.

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

We have dreams for ourselves but God has dreams for us too. Trust Him and His plans for us.

Winning

Ephesians 5:20

“And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

As Christians, we have to know what to do when we succeed. Giving thanks to God for all His guidance and help is the best way to go about it.

Psalms 28:7

“The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.”

We can always count on God for help whenever we need it. It is only right that when we triumph, we give the glory and thanks to Him.

Galatians 1:5

“All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.”

Let us give God the credit He is due and the credit He so deserves.

Losing/Quitting

Matthew 11:28

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

Even after all our hard work, sometimes we still do not win. God is the perfect one to call. He knows loss and His comfort can help us overcome our setbacks.

Psalms 55:22

“Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.”

If we dedicate ourselves to God, we will always find ourselves taken care of and well provided for even during our lowest points.

Isaiah 40:31

“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

Isaiah 40:31 is a Bible verse with a powerful promise. Being an athlete is physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing. Feeling exhausted is not surprising. But if our hope is in God, we shall always renew our strength.

Perseverance

Deuteronomy 31:6

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

It is always good to know that someone is on our side. It is good encouragement. The good news is, God is on our side, cheering for us.

Hebrews 12:11

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

Hebrews 12:1 hits home. Discipline and training are hard work but each time we persevere, we push through, we get closer to victory.

Hebrews 12:12

“Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.”

We are all prone to feeling weak and burnt out. But, with God on our side, we will make it.

Sportsmanship

Philippians 2:3

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves.”

We compete in sports, that is a given. But, we always have to remember that we are the light of the world. We should take our competitions seriously but never do anything that would hurt others.

Proverbs 25:27

“It’s not good to eat too much honey, and it’s not good to seek honors for yourself.”

We indeed deserve credit for our hard work and perseverance. But, we have to be careful not to be arrogant. We give glory to God and also acknowledge everything that other people have done to help us, big or small.

Hebrews 10:24

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

Instead of seeing other athletes as enemies, we should view them as people who, like us, worked hard to be there. Let us instead encourage one another.

Competition

Romans 8:28

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.”

The best we can do is to give our absolute best. The rest is on God. Let us trust that He will always want what is best and beneficial for us.

Psalms 16:8

“I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.”

Fear and uncertainties may distract us on our special day. Let us avoid this by anchoring our hearts and minds on God.

Encouraging Bible Verses for Athletes

Philippians 4:6

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”

Colossians 3:23

“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”

Matthew 19:26

“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Short Bible Verses for Athletes

Psalms 37:5

“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this.”

Philippians 4:13

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Psalms 3:6

“I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.”

Best Bible Verses for Athletes on Game Day

Ephesians 3:16

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.”

Deuteronomy 8:18

“Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.”

Exodus 14:14

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

In Summary

The Bible tells us of a race that is set before us – called life. The Lord will renew our strength so we can run and not grow weary. Let us put our hope in the Lord and claim His promise for the present. Let us hone our self-control and let us run faithfully. The Lord will give us everything we need.

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Alex Shute
EDITOR
Alex Shute, MBA
Alex is a family man and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. His passion is to serve the global Church and bring people of diverse backgrounds together to learn & grow.


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