Proverbs 16:9 “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord direct his steps.”
“Football is a violent sport. It’s the nature of the game. In the same way, it’s also sporadic and out of your control. I couldn’t imagine stepping onto a football field and not having a full body-mind-spirit belief that I am exactly where I am supposed to be and doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing. My faith in God and His plan for me allows me to play freely without doubt or fear.” That’s Cooper Kupp in September.
After the second game this season, Kupp shared Proverbs 16:9 as his approach football and life: “The heart of man chooses his path, but the Lord establishes his steps. It just gave me so much freedom to go out there and play free, give everything I had and know the results rested in Him.”
Before the postseason began, Kupp became only the fourth player in NFL history to lead the NFL in all 3 receiver categories: 145 receptions, 1,947 receiving yards, and 16 receiving touchdowns. Four months later, his wife Anna Marie Kupp posted an Instagram video after the Rams defeated the San Francisco 49ers to win the NFC Championship: “These moments!!! Thanking God for every one of them. We have prayed for a season to glorify our Savior Jesus Christ and you are doing just that my lovey @cooperkupp. SURREAL!!” Their strong faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is the center of their family and marriage.
Cooper met Anna Marie in high school. While at Eastern Washington University, Anna Marie worked at a restaurant to help pay costs while Cooper focused on football: ” I worked full time so he didn’t have to worry about that so that he could focus.” Cooper’s response: “Not only would I not be where I am today without her. I really believe I may not be in the NFL if it wasn’t for her and what she has inspired in me and pushed me to do.” But he points to their faith in Jesus Christ as the foundation of their marriage and his career.
“As a husband, as a father, as a football player, knowing how much of a failure I am at these things if it wasn’t for knowing that Christ has told me who I am in His eyes and know that how far short I fall in all these things, that He’s bridged every gap and that He’s called me to even greater things.” Kupp learned this reliance on Jesus Christ early from his family.
His father, Craig Kupp, says it simply: “It’s part of who we are. Our relationship with Jesus is the center of our life.” His grandfather Jake seconds Craig’s point: “You have to rely on a strength greater than yourself.”
Cooper summed it all up in 2017, before he became the center of attention in this year’s Super Bowl: “Knowing where your identity is and knowing that as much as I want to be a football player and I strive to be that, I’m so much more than that. This life is temporary. No matter what the naysayers say, no matter what anyone tells me, I know that my identity is in Christ, and nothing can take me off that.”
Cooper’s performance in last week’s Super Bowl? With the Ram’s 23-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, Kupp was named the MVP with 8 catches for 92 yards, 2 touchdowns and the game-winning touchdown catch with only 1:25 remaining. As he said in the postgame, “I am not deserving. God is so good.”
The Evidence of Faith’s Substance _ Article #488