This story appears in FCA Magazine’s November/December 2016 issue. Subscribe today!
Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight
We can all at least imagine it. Or we’ve experienced it. Or maybe we’ve even been the one delivering it. The epic pregame speech. In football locker rooms around the country, coaches gather their teams and deliver impassioned speeches, imploring them to play with boldness, courage and confidence. They ask their athletes to execute the game plan, anticipating success and, ultimately, victory.
In Joshua 1, our Master Coach encouraged and inspired Joshua to go boldly and confidently into the land He had promised to the Israelites. One of the most motivating “pregame speeches” in the Bible reaches its crescendo in verse 9 when the Lord tells Joshua, “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Those words were the inspiration behind FCA’s “RISE” theme this year as well as FCA Magazine’s seventh annual college football player profiles. We asked Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight and other Christ-following student-athletes around the country how they are bold and courageous in their faith.
It’s our prayer that Knight’s interview and the 50-plus player profiles inspire you to be bold and courageous in your faith—just like Joshua—wherever the Lord has placed you.
Q&A with Texas A&M Quarterback Trevor Knight
#8 - Sr./San Antonio
FCA: What does it mean to be bold and courageous in your faith?
TK: It means putting your confidence in the Lord. As athletes, we tend to put our confidence in our performance, and unfortunately that’s eventually going to fail us. If I ride the roller coaster of life as it relates to football, I’ll never be satisfied. Rising up and putting all my courage and faith in Jesus is the only thing that’s going to keep me at an even keel, through the ups and downs of life and sports.
On a football team, being bold and courageous in my faith means serving my teammates—working hard for my teammates, playing for the guy next to me, serving the people around me, truly asking my teammates how their day is going or what’s going on in their lives. Being intentional with them as people, not just as football players. Then just having a mentality of, “I’m choosing God first in every situation. I’m going to live that out and be an example to the people around me, to truly create that culture of Christ in a locker room.”
FCA: How has your faith impacted your life and football career?
TK: What I love about sports, and specifically football, is they are such a parallel to life. I’m going to go through adversity like it talks about in James 1. But through all the ups and downs, I’ll put God first and allow Him to work in my life regardless of the circumstances, to get me through the challenges and celebrate the achievements.
I truly believe God has blessed me with these abilities in order to serve Him and share His name with a whole bunch of people. Young kids care what I have to say, especially for these four or five years of my life. I want to use that platform for good and be an example for Christ and hopefully change the lives of young kids—or anybody for that matter—all over the country.
FCA: How have you grown during your time in college?
TK: I’ve grown tremendously as a man. College is a unique time in your life where you step away from how your parents raised you and truly start to develop your own identity as a person and as a Christian.
Three important keys have allowed me to be the person I am today. First, trusting God in every situation. That’s pivotal if you want to be the person He’s called you to be. Second, surrounding myself with the right people. I’ve had several friends and mentors who have been there for accountability and when times were hard and could lift me up. Last, just being consistent. Consistency is very important as a man, but consistency as it relates to my personal life is making sure to have quiet time every day, even when the college lifestyle doesn’t necessarily promote that. Just being consistent in being filled up every week and making yourself get up and go to church every week, making yourself go to FCA even though you have a paper due the next day. Those three things have really helped me during my time in college.
FCA: What do you hope people remember about your time in college?
TK: This last year, especially with this new group of guys at A&M, I hope we win a whole bunch of ball games. But what I truly want more is for my teammates to remember me as a guy who did it the right way. A guy who cares more about each of them as people than as football players, a guy who gave every single thing I had to make sure I was being the best possible teammate I could—a teammate in football and in life.
And I hope fans can look down at the field and see a guy who plays with absolute passion and, like it says in Colossians 3:23, to work for the Lord with everything I have and not for man. I hope they see a man who loves what he’s doing and looks like he’s having fun, because of the opportunity the Lord has given him. My path has been different than most, but it’s drawn me closer to the Lord. That’s the way God designed it, and I truly believe I’m right where He wants me to be.
To read additional college football player profiles, click here.
Bringing It Home Devotional: The Roller Coaster of Life
By Trevor Knight
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” – James 1:2-3 (NIV)
Growing up, I was always a “sports guy.” I enjoyed playing just like a lot of other kids, but—without bragging too much—my twin brother and I happened to find success no matter what sport we tried. In fact, we used to have to bring our birth certificates to T-ball games to prove we were actually the correct age, despite hitting home runs every at-bat.
My successful young sports career continued into middle school and high school, and everything just seemed—well, great. Life off the field was always stable. I had parents who loved me. I was always healthy, and eventually many schools were offering me the opportunity to fulfill my dream of playing college football.
Then real life hit.
My dad was diagnosed with cancer. I won the starting quarterback position as a freshman at Oklahoma, but then lost it. I battled a knee injury. I got my starting spot back but then dislocated my shoulder. I was MVP of the 2014 Sugar Bowl. Preseason Heisman Trophy candidate. Disappointing season. Severe neck injury. Parents got divorced. Lost my starting spot again—this time for good. Transfer to Texas A&M. Win the starting job.
If that sounds like a bit of a roller coaster ride, it absolutely has been.
But I believe all of us are on the roller coaster of life. One day everything seems great, but the next day the world will let you down and smash your face into the dirt. However, just as it says in James 1 (NIV), we are to, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, when you face these trials of many kinds.”
Using the past few years of my life as an example, I want to encourage you to be strong and courageous through the hard times, allowing them to be opportunities to lean in closer to God and give your life completely to Him. When the good times come around, be thankful and praise God for the successes.
Don’t lose heart as you ride the roller coaster of life. Trust that God is your escort through it all, drawing you closer to His heart and love.
• How has your life resembled a roller coaster ride with its high and low points?
• In what ways have you seen or felt God meet you in both the highs and lows of life?
• Who is someone you could share this message with?
• John 16:33
• Romans 5:3
• 1 Timothy 6:11
Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of life You’ve blessed me with. From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, I know You are consistently by my side as I ride the roller coaster of life. Help me understand that every moment in life—good and bad—is meant to draw me closer to You and allow me to experience Your grace, mercy and love even fuller in my life. Thank You for that truth and for loving me. Amen.
Originally Published: November 2016
Photos courtesy of Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports and Texas A&M Athletics/12thMan.com