Trusting in the promises of God

Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix has enjoyed an outstandingly successful summer. The 17-year-old British diver won three medals at the Commonwealth Games, including 2 golds, and last week won another gold medal at the European Championships. Yet earlier this year she felt “terrified of diving” and came close to giving up. In a radio interview she said, “I couldn’t do any of my dives. I was terrified of diving and was really close to quitting because I was petrified of everything. But my team and my family just helped me get through it. I don’t think I would be here if it wasn’t for them.”

Andrea says she was also inspired by Bible verses. After her gold-medal victory in the 10m platform diving competition at the Commonwealth Games she said, “Mark Chapter 4, verses 35-41 – ‘Peace be still.’ This was the title for my competition yesterday. Peace of mind and stillness of water. God is good all the time and all the time God is good.”

This passage describes Jesus calming a storm on the sea of Galilee: “As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.’ So, they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind. But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, ‘Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?’ When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Peace, be still!’ Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, ‘Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?’ The disciples were absolutely terrified. ‘Who is this man?’ they asked each other. ‘Even the wind and waves obey him!’”

Her second medal success was inspired by Philippians Chapter 4, verse13: “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” When she had a slight stumble as she dived with her partner, Eden Cheng, in the 10m synchro event she remembered Philippians 4:13 before the dive which secured the silver medal.

The reason the words of the Bible are a source of strength and encouragement to countless people in all kinds of situation is that what the Bible says, God says. He is the living God, and his promises are always true. In Psalm 119 the psalmist says, “You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.”

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