Eagles QB Carson Wentz continues to strengthen faith in Christ amid trials of NFL life

Little in life is a guarantee for NFL players, and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has certainly learned that during his four whirlwind seasons in the league.

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He has experienced his share of success with a massive contract extension he signed last June and a Super Bowl title to his name. Wentz has also dealt with a tremendous amount of adversity and scrutiny during his short career. Yet regardless of what he may face, Wentz is steadied by his knowledge that God holds all things together in His hands.

“It’s God’s perfect plan,” Wentz told the Associated Press this week. “It’s His sovereignty interwoven with every one of our lives. And so for me to just fully trust, fully surrender (and say): ‘All right, God I’m just here for surrender to You. And I want to give everything I can in my life to ultimately glorify You as best I can.’ It just gives me a different perspective with everything that comes my way: the good, the bad, the ugly.

“It’s not always the easiest to kind of have that train of thought. But the Bible talks about having a renewed mind (Romans 12:2). And so for me, that’s a daily thing to have my mind renewed by the Word and just fully surrender to the Lord.”

Wentz seemed headed for greatness during his second season with Philadelphia out of North Dakota State, as he was widely considered one of the MVP front-runners. Yet in Week 14 against the Los Angeles Rams, Wentz tore his ACL. Fellow believer Nick Foles replaced him at quarterback, finished the season and led the Eagles all the way to a dramatic Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII. Wentz was happy for Foles and he got a ring, but he had to look on from the sideline.

The following season, Wentz found himself injured again for Philadelphia’s playoff run, this time with a back injury. Last season, Wentz started his first playoff game in the wild-card round but was knocked out of the game in the first quarter as his team fell to the Seattle Seahawks.

“It can be easy to get consumed with your worldly, fleshly train of thought or desires or whatever,” Wentz told the AP, “but when you look at everything from an internal perspective, from a Biblical perspective, and just know that this is so much bigger than just me and my life or where I’m at in my career, football, it’s so much bigger.”

Wentz has had to handle questions about his durability, and even sometimes his effectiveness, and last month the Eagles decided to use their second-round pick on Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts. Hurts was last season’s runner-up for the Heisman Trophy.

Wentz did not appear to be threatened by Hurts’ selection, however, and even said he was excited to share the quarterback room with another man of faith.

“I believe wholeheartedly that we’re going to hit it off and we’ll be stronger together for the good of the team,” Wentz said about Hurts. “It just seems like you instantly connect and you instantly know that person on a deeper level because of the mutual relationship that you share with Christ.”

Wentz, who became a father for the first time last month, has been able to translate his positive, Christ-focused attitude into his work with his AO1 (Audience of One) Foundation. It held a “Day of Relief” 24-hour virtual fundraising campaign on Friday in place of its annual charity softball game, and the foundation was able to raise $137,534 to help Philadelphia families in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Wentz isn’t sure where the NFL may take him, but he knows that his career is a gift from God to bless others in any way he can.

“My faith is the No. 1 reason why I want to give back,” he told the AP. “To have this position of influence that the NFL gives us, to use it for good and to give back and to influence and inspire others to give back, I believe that’s what God put me on this Earth for.”

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