UNPACK this

The Patriots’ Adversity

Published on September 20, 2016 | By
Are you kidding me? The New England Patriots are 2-0 and their 3rd string rookie quarterback, Jacoby Brissett, finished the game on Sunday against the Dolphins. Tom Brady is suspended, both Jimmy Garoppolo and Rob Gronkowski are injured, and yet the team just keeps on rolling. It really is remarkable!
With Brady watching the games on TV for the first four weeks, he made this observation on Westwood One Radio via ESPN.com: “I was hoping to gain a little different perspective, and I think I have. It’s amazing the way our team responds to adversity and the way our coaches prepare us for all these different situations that we face." It’s true. No matter what happens to New England's players on or off the field, they overcome adversity and consistently win week after week. The team obviously has a deep faith in the person in control, Bill Belichick, and they trust the plan and system. They have the right attitude and mindset when unfortunate things happen, and they don’t allow challenges to take them off course. I’m still bummed the Patriots beat my Panthers in the Super Bowl years ago, but regardless of my jealousy toward their success, I am inspired by their handling of adversity. They don’t make excuses or whine or doubt that they will keep on winning. They respond well to whatever is thrown their way. When each of us encounter challenges or surprising difficulty, how do we respond? Where do we place our trust? Do we believe that God is in control and our deep faith in Him allows us to trust His plan, regardless of the circumstance? Do we keep persevering or do we stop to complain and make excuses? God loves us and wants to help us handle adversity well, while recognizing He’s still at work through the struggle. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:16-17 (NLT), "That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!"

As good as the Patriots are at winning, they can’t avoid adversity. However, they set the example for how to handle it when it comes because they keep their winning mentality. When our faith and trust are securely tied to the work Jesus did on the cross, we rest in Him and know that any momentary affliction doesn’t have to defeat us. As followers of Jesus, we continue to live in victory despite our current adversity. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I pray that I would place my trust in You today as I face adversity, and that I would continue to have a winning mentality because of what Jesus has done for me on the cross. I am victorious and I desire to persevere during any momentary trouble. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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