Having just secured our third win in a row, team morale is rising and we’re becoming more confident week by week. Though our team is fairly new together, our chemistry has been crazy. We’ve just been gelling so well together. We have fun in practice, in the locker room, off the field and especially on the field.
Everyone has bought into the “One Team, One Goal” theme for the season. Being counted out by everyone else really pushed us to grow stronger as a team. We have a hard-working atmosphere, but even more so, we just try to have fun and remember this is a game. We know we’re blessed to have this opportunity. With that in mind we’re always dancing, laughing and joking together, but at the same time we’re working really hard to play our best.
Whether my team is on a three-game winning streak or just lost 14 games in a row (like I did with the Browns last season), I approach every day the same. My joy is found in Christ and Him alone. My mission is to always stay Kingdom-focused. There’s so much going in the world and people’s lives are being impacted outside this game.
As NFL athletes we have the chance to represent people in a positive light, so I try to do just that. Keeping this perspective, my aim is to show up to work every day with a positive attitude — one not based on wins, but my eternal hope. Yes, winning makes it easier to have fun, but I want to be the same guy when adversity hits. Adversity is always out there and bound to happen to us all eventually, but nothing can steal the joy I’ve found in Christ.
Last year’s season helped me take on this mindset. Experiencing the ups and downs of a really tough season, one with almost no wins, really challenged my perspective and purpose. I realized the importance of finding my joy in Christ alone. Because as bleak as circumstances might be, no one can take away a joy that’s based in an immovable, unshakeable God.
Christian community is crucial to maintaining this perspective. Josh McCown, Matt Forte and I are constantly lifting each other up and letting each other know we’re praying for one another. We challenge each other to keep a God-centered focus. We push each other spiritually just as much as we do physically. It’s a really unique blessing to have on the team.
Most of all, my joy is firm in Christ because I know He is who He says He is. No matter what circumstances I’m in, I know He will work out everything for the best — according to His perfect plan. I would have never predicted being back in New York and having everything turn out the way it has. Though it wasn’t what I had in mind, here I am and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it. Things are going so well for us here and I can only point to God for that.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” — Romans 8:28
Sometimes it’s easier to be closer to God during the hard times of life. In fact, Scripture says it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into Heaven (Matthew 19:24).
When we have many things, it’s easy for us to let those things take the place of God and bring us the comfort we’re looking for. But when we’re struggling to make it through, we tend to draw nearer to God. When everything else is stripped away, He’s the only thing we have. When all we have to bank on — all our preparation, practice and knowledge — doesn’t lead to success, it’s then that we realize all we have is Christ. This is our hope and our confidence.
I don’t know what the rest of the year holds, but God does. He has the final say and my confidence is in Him.
— Demario Davis, New York Jets linebacker
Demario Davis is a linebacker with the New York Jets and a regular contributor to The Increase and will be providing monthly articles and opinions.