February 8, 2018

“Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – James 1: 2-4

The Philadelphia Eagles are Super Bowl Champions. This is the first time this franchise has ever won the Super Bowl. Until this past week, the Philadelphia Eagles were the only team in their division to not have hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. The World Champion Eagles were led by an unlikely hero, quarterback Nick Foles.

Prior to this season, Nick Foles had a difficult time in the NFL. In 2016, Foles lost his starting job with the Los Angeles Rams and was eventually cut by the team. He was fortunate to sign a small one-year contract with the Kansas City Chiefs. Even though his contract with the Chiefs was to be the backup quarterback, that also did not go well. In March of the same year Foles was cut from Kansas City. He was devastated and sure his dream of playing quarterback in the NFL was over.

Nick Foles was convinced that his time in the NFL was at an end. He had experienced too many failures and he had made the decision to retire. Thankfully, Nick took one more risk and signed a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles where he served as the backup to Carson Wentz. Wentz experienced a season-ending injury while playing the Los Angeles Rams. With just a few games to go in the season Nick Foles entered the game and led his team to a win and began a march to the Super Bowl. The Eagles won the Super Bowl and the unlikely hero, Nick Foles was named the MVP.

The day after the big game, Nick was interviewed and shared some significant insight he had learned from his faith and his time in the NFL. Foles said,

“I think the big thing is don’t be afraid to fail, In our society today, with Instagram and Twitter, it’s a highlight reel. It’s all the good things. When you look at it, you have a bad day, you think your life isn’t as good, you’re failing. Failure is a part of life. It’s a part of building character and growing. Without failure, who would you be? I wouldn’t be up here if I hadn’t fallen thousands of times, made mistakes. We all are human. We all have weaknesses.”

The MVP of Super Bowl chose to speak, not about his amazing game, but about his difficult moments, his past failures and how those moments had helped to shape him into being the man he is today. This is a wonderful message for us all. Like Nick Foles, we all have hopes and dreams, but when we strive to achieve our dreams we often fail. Failure is painful. We never wish for difficult times, but those difficult trials help to shape us, build our character and prepare us for the next opportunity to chase our dreams.

We often allow fear of failure to stop us from working to making our hopes and dreams a reality. Our scripture and Nick Foles both remind us that failure is nothing to fear. Failure is a part of life. The good news is that God is at work in our trials to help us grow and become a stronger people of faith.

Rev. Keith King, Online Campus Pastor