How does faith, as demonstrated by Tony and Lauren Dungy, bring glory to God according to 1 Peter 1:6-7?
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?
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” (Psalm 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” (Psalm 37:5).
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Esther 2:1-23
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