Perseverance and Determination

One aspect of sports that spectators enjoy is the heartwarming stories of perseverance and determination. One of my favorite stories is about NFL Superbowl-winning quarterback Kurt Warner. You may or may not know this, but Kurt Warner was never supposed to make it. 

After graduating as a subpar high school football player, he attended the University of Northern Iowa where he spent three years as the third-string quarterback. It wasn’t until his final season that he was able to showcase his talents and win Conference Offensive Player of the Year.

Warner signed as a free agent with the Green Bay Packers. Unfortunately for Warner, he was competing against Hall of Famer Brett Favre and Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer for a quarterback spot. Needless to say, Warner did not get a spot on the team and was cut. After his disappointing attempt to play professional football, Warner started bagging groceries to make money. 

During this time, Warner played part time in the Arena Football League, setting records and winning titles. Of course, he still had to bag groceries during the day. Finally, in 1999, through a series of fortunate events, Warner was picked up by the then St. Louis Rams. Warner went on to be named the starting quarterback and led the Rams to a Superbowl victory over Tennessee. Warner played a total of 10 years in the NFL and still holds many records to this very day.

While there is much more detail to the story and the life of Kurt Warner, you can see that it is the story of a man who did not give up on his dream. One interesting aspect of Warner’s story is his strong faith in Jesus and how through all of his trials, he clung to that relationship to keep himself grounded and focused. Even after all of his success, he prayed regularly that God would help him continue to be a husband, father, and athlete who honored Jesus. He never wanted to be a star, a hero, or a celebrity, but a man of God. What a great example of perseverance and determination!

 The Bible has much to say about perseverance and determination as it relates to one’s faith. Those two attitudes are vital because life is chaotic and doesn’t always go as we planned. Where are we to turn to find perseverance and determination in hard times? Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”

One helpful aspect about the Christian faith we must always remember is that in Christ, you and I are built for the valleys. Why? Because the living God, who brings order from chaos and whose plans never fail, is with us and walks alongside us. Without faith in God, the valleys of life become an exercise in grasping at straws, reaching for anything to help us only to find it’s never enough. 

Philippians 1:6 gives us a promise to cling to daily: “And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” May we always remember that our perseverance and determination are driven and empowered by the Lord Himself.