The 2016 Olympics begin this weekend, but unfortunately one of the major storylines for the games in Rio is concern for the safety and health of the athletes. Between the rampant Zika virus and the polluted water, many participants are either entering the games with tremendous fear or avoiding the risk by making the decision to stay home.

From the fan’s perspective, knowing exactly how dangerous these issues are for the athletes is hard to determine, but we can understand the fear of being exposed to them. I believe it is very important for each individual athlete to factor in all of the available information before determining if participating in the Olympics is a wise choice.

In life, fear and wisdom are always at play in our decision-making. Whether the decisions we make are about personal safety, job security, or stepping out in faith, I think it’s crucial that followers of Jesus should not live in fear. Instead, we need to constantly trust that God is in control and remember He’s all-powerful.

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV) says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am Your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

At the same time, we shouldn’t be foolish and purposefully choose to put ourselves in dangerous or compromising situations. To avoid doing so, we must rely on God for direction to make wise choices when risks are in front of us, and also have the understanding that sometimes taking a wise risk is what God wants us to do.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Ultimately, athletes participating in the Rio Games made the decision to go, and must live with their choice. Today, let’s consider the importance of leaning on God for wisdom when making risky decisions, and avoid fear when God is clearly leading us on His path. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I pray that I wouldn’t live in fear, but instead put my trust in You. I pray that I’d be willing to take risks and step out in faith, but I would do so by leaning on You for wisdom and strength. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.