Tender HeartsHow can we avoid being spiritually stubborn and unresponsive to God?
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Trust Him, and He will help you (v.5).
Several years ago, I had the privilege of interviewing
Tony Dungy’s wife, Lauren, for Sports Spectrum
Magazine. At the time, Tony was the head coach
of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and—based on his faith,
integrity, and contributions on and off the field—was
highly esteemed by his players, community, and the
National Football League (NFL).
Yet, though deeply blessed, Lauren said she and Tony
were not exempt from John 16:33, which teaches that
“here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.”
“When our family, friends, and the community see that
we face difficulties like anyone else,” Lauren said, “then
we can communicate how our personal relationship with
Jesus Christ sustains us, how God’s Word encourages us
in trying times.”
When we spoke, little did Lauren know of the magnitude
of the trials that would soon come their way. First, though
the Bucs went 54-42 and made the playoffs four times
under Dungy, he was fired after just 6 seasons.
Not surprisingly, Tony and Lauren responded to the
termination graciously. They invited all the former Bucs
staff who had lost their jobs to come to their home, and
they encouraged them to “be still in the presence of the
Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act” (Psalms 37:7).
The second trial to face the Dungy family was a tragedy
of far greater proportions. Just days after leading his new
team, the Indianapolis Colts, to an 11-0 regular-season record, Tony and Lauren
received news that their oldest son, James, age 17, had committed suicide.
Though devastated, Tony and Lauren continued to proclaim God’s love and
goodness—beautifully testifying yet again that God does indeed sustain us
during life’s most difficult times. “Trust Him, and He will help you” (v.5).
How does faith, as demonstrated by Tony and Lauren Dungy, bring
glory to God according to 1 Peter 1:6?
How have you experienced strength of faith in Jesus that
sustained you in life’s darkest hours? What is keeping you from truly
trusting in Him?
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