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'You Don't Know the God that I Know': NFL QB Derek Carr's Hope Is in God After Life-Changing News

01-18-2023
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Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr meets with reporters after an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

Former Las Vegas Raiders Quarterback Derek Carr hasn't said much since he was benched by Coach Josh McDaniels for the final two weeks of the season.  After saying goodbye to Raiders fans on social media last week, the devout Christian opened up about some powerful faith lessons he's been learning since then, sharing his journey with Church LV in Las Vegas on Sunday. 
 
A video clip of Carr's message was shared by The Las Vegas Review-Journal on YouTube. 

Carr, 31, told the audience, "I'm a little fired up these past couple of weeks. I'm going through some stuff a little bit. And I've found out that nothing can get me down. Nothing can kick my feet out from under me. There's nothing that can come against me, for I'm going to win in the end." 

"There's nothing that can come against my household," he said as the audience reacted with cheers and applause. "For the Spirit of God breaks it free and says 'We don't need to worry about that.' Do you all know how many text messages I've gotten saying, 'Are you OK?'
Stop asking if I'm OK. You don't really know me if you're asking if I'm OK. You don't know the God that I know."

Then the quarterback smiled and said, "I'm just kidding. Man, you all really love me. I thank you. Thank you so much for praying for me. Yes, I'm doing good." 

"But you all understand my heart. We've got to get out of the negativity. We got to stop complaining," Carr said. "What are those things that are holding you captive? Quit being comfortable there. It's easy to stay there. It's easy to point the finger at other people. It's easy to blame others. Trust me, I've got a lot of family members trying to do that for me."

"But I say, you know what, I'm not going to do that," he continued. "That's comfortable for me. That really could be a comfortable place but I'm going to step out of that. I'm going to say I just can't wait to be better myself. I'm just going to keep striving to be the best version of me that I can be. I'm going to keep trying to be better at whatever I do next. It's uncomfortable. It's so easy to do it the other way. It's so easy to {point fingers}."

"But instead, I said, Lord, what is it that you're trying to reveal to me in this season?" Carr said. "Lord, what is it that you're trying to do in my heart in this season? Patience. Forgiveness. Do they deserve it? It doesn't matter. He doesn't ask me if they deserve it. He didn't ask me if they deserve that. That wasn't on the agenda for me. The agenda for me was just to forgive. The agenda for me was just to have peace."

"Nine years. One place. It's been hard," he noted. I always make this joke. I say franchises are heavy to carry. But aren't we thankful that whatever God has asked you to do that he can be the one to say, 'Why don't you just put it in my hands? Why don't you just give it back to me?'"

"I have walked through the hardest times of my life," Carr told the audience, "not knowing if my son was going to make it. Not knowing if my grandpa was going to make it. Not knowing what's next, not knowing my next step. Not knowing these things. And I've walked through these times with an absolute peace and a grace that has covered me."

Nine-Year Starter Says Goodbye

Carr, an outspoken Christian, was the Raiders' starting quarterback since 2014. He had only missed three games in nine years due to injury. But McDaniels benched the quarterback citing offensive performance reasons. 

"Derek's tenure with the Raiders is effectively finished," Carr's agent, Tim Younger, posted on Twitter. "Relationships do end, but as is the case here, a treasure of memories and friendships remain, along with a very special bond with his fans. These won't end."

Saying goodbye to his fans in Las Vegas on social media, the quarterback shared he was ready for the challenge of playing in a new city.

"I once said that if I'm not a Raider I would rather be at home and I meant that, but I never envisioned it ending this way," Carr posted on Twitter. "That fire burning inside of me to win a championship still rages. A fire no man can extinguish; only God. So I look forward to a new city and a new team who, no matter the circumstance, will get everything I have."

Family, Faith, and Football

Carr explains on his website, "The three most important things in my life are faith, family, and football." 

"I have a very strong faith in God. He is the reason I play football. He has given me this special talent and I want to use it to glorify Him. I am grateful for the opportunity to further His kingdom by sharing my faith on and off the football field. At any moment, any second, my football career could be taken away but my faith and relationship with God will never be taken from me," Carr says on his website. 

"Being a quarterback is what I do but it does not define who I am. I am first and foremost a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ," he added. 

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) calls signals during the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

As CBN News reported in September of 2021, Carr turned the attention to God following the team's third consecutive win of the season, which hadn't happened since 2002.

During an interview with CBS, Carr was asked how he maintains such confidence during a game, even when it looks like the team is on the brink of losing.

"All the self-glory, that stuff is fleeting. I've already been through that," Carr said. "God took me to a place that all I want to do is glorify Him, and wherever He's going, that's where I want to go. So if it's a win, awesome. If not, I'm still gonna glorify Him."

Prior to the start of the 2021 season, Carr told the Associated Press that playing in the NFL is a blessing granted by God.

"I believe God gave me talents to be in this position," he said. "Anybody could be the quarterback here, but in my belief, He's allowed me to be the quarterback here. And I'm gonna continue to give this thing everything that I have. I think that I've done that for seven years."  

As CBN News reported, shortly after entering the NFL in 2014, Carr shared his testimony and what led him to fully commit his life to Jesus.

"I remember at that moment, I felt so selfish, so arrogant, so cocky," he said. "I got down on my knees and it was finally at that time where God kind of put His foot on my throat and said, 'Hey, I've got special plans for you and you're screwing it up'."  

Carr is not ashamed to share details about his personal faith journey. Six years ago, he said he heard the voice of God and ended up saving three lives. 

By Being Obedient, He Saved Three Lives

As CBN News reported in 2017, Carr revealed in a Facebook video he was sitting in a church service when the Holy Spirit gave him a powerful word of knowledge during the altar call. 

"The Holy Spirit tells me someone in here is going to commit suicide unless you say something," he said in a video posted to the Holy Spirit Lifestyle page that at the time drew more than 900,000 views. 

Carr decided to be obedient, went to the front of the church, and told the audience he knew someone was planning on taking their life that night.

"For someone in here, it got so hard, to where you were going to end your life and kill yourself and commit suicide tonight," Carr recalled saying. "I'm just here to tell you Jesus loves you, that I love you, and that he has a plan for your life."

Sure enough, a man at the altar pointed to himself.

"He came up and was just balling his eyes out just standing there," Carr says.

As the two men prayed together, another man told Carr's brother that he also was planning on killing himself that night and asked for prayer.

The event eventually ended and Carr was getting ready to leave when a third man approached him and confessed that he, too, was planning on committing suicide.

"I had never met these three people in my life and I just told them how much I love them, how much God loved them, how much Jesus loved them."

While some may view what happened that night as extraordinary, Carr said it's simple.

"All I was doing was being obedient," he concluded.

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