Does God Help Tebow?

Posted on January 19, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Rankin Connecting

Everyone else is speculating on this question so why not jump in before the roller-coaster football season of Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos fades from our memory.

Have the miraculous comeback and overtime wins been orchestrated by God because Tebow is faithful to give Him praise and credit for everything in life? If so, where is God on occasions his quarterback performance has tanked? Is this equivocating Sovereign playing games with His loyal servant, or is He seeking to defy the shallow religionists who would suggest that He has any interest in NFL football?

It is obviously a theological distortion to attribute wealth, affluence, blessing and good fortune to God–a mistake common to Jewish philosophers frequently corrected by Jesus. God is not primarily concerned about our comfort and success. His desire is to be glorified in our lives and in the world. He does promise to bless, but often the greatest blessings are not in accord with our concepts. Sometimes He is most glorified when His followers are faithful in praising and serving Him even in adversity and suffering. God is certainly capable of putting a hedge of protection around us so that we never fail and everything goes according to our liking. But that is dangerous indeed since we are so susceptible to pride and taking God for granted.

Job observed that it rains on the just and the unjust. He got it right in saying, “Should we accept only good from God and not adversity?” In all of his suffering he did not sin in cursing God or even feeling that God had forsaken Him and let Him down. Failures may be the most valuable opportunity to recognize our own inadequacy and strengthen our dependence on God. It is when we are not successful that the child of God can learn needed life lessons, become more disciplined and work more diligently, rather than passively assuming God is going to do it all on our behalf.

Tim Tebow is faithful to give God the praise; in every situation credit is given to Jesus Christ who has given him the ability to play football. Whether the Denver Broncos win or lose, God is going to be glorified in Tim Tebow’s faith and testimony. God doesn’t intervene and contradict the laws of gravity to keep us from getting hurt when we fall; neither does He offset a missed block or porous defense to give an undeserved victory.

When the three Hebrew children were thrown into the fiery furnace they were confident God was capable of delivering them. But they said that even if He didn’t they would still worship Him. Tebow keeps things in perspective when he continues to insist that football is not the most important thing–Jesus Christ is! That’s why I would affirm that, yes, God does help Tebow. He doesn’t necessarily help him win football games, but he helps him stay strong and positive in defeat. He helps him be faithful in his work ethic and discipline because God knows He will receive the honor and glory for any of Tebow’s accomplishments. He helps him stay in the public spotlight through miraculous victories or embarrassing defeats because He knows Tebows will be faithful in His testimony and witness.

Habakkuk 3:17-19 is a beautiful picture of God, relevant to Tebow’s performance on the football field. “Though the fig tree should not blossom, and there be no fruit on the vine, though the yield of the olive should fail, and the fields produce no food. Though the flock should be cut off from the fold, and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord is my strength.”

We might paraphrase this as follows: “Though passes are dropped and fumbles lost, though the pocket collapses, and I’m sacked for a loss; though no touchdowns are scored as the clock runs down, and the game comes to end with defeat once again; yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation; the Lord God is my strength!” Yes, God helps anyone with that kind of attitude.

2 Comments on “Does God Help Tebow?”

  1. Phyllis Amis Randall

    Well put!! The paraphrase of Job is aptly put! Thank you for your defense of Tim Tebow, who is FOR REAL whether winning or losing. The world is trying to make a mockery of him and his faith. Your observations would make a great letter to the editor of many newspapers!! We need to pray for Tim that he will continue to be consistent! P

  2. Waiting for Winter | Down Home in Mississippi

    […] by response to our “Rankin Connecting” blog and “Devotional Reflections,” especially the current post on whether or not God helps Tim Tebow. Don’t miss the next post this week on “A Missed Field Goal”–how do you rebound from […]

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