Josh Steed's Blog
Author of "Faith & Football"

Steve Roberts’ Testimony (Arkansas State Head Football Coach)

Hey everyone, this post is the story of Arkansas State head football coach, Steve Roberts. I interviewed Steve last year for my book and included his interview in several chapters. He is an incredible man of God and has a neat story to tell. The following is his story in his own words. I hope you enjoy it and pass it along to all the athletes, coaches, and sports fans you know and love. 

 Thanks, Josh Steed 

 Steve Roberts…. 

“I was very fortunate to have been raised in a Christian home by great parents who were very active in the church and who modeled their beliefs in raising me and my older brother. Growing up I had a ton of advantages to grow my faith through church activities, youth group, FCA, summer camps, and Christian friends. Life was good. I went to a private Christian college, played college football, fell in love, got married and felt a calling to become a coach. Life was really good. After spending just 6 seasons as an assistant coach, I achieved one of my primary professional goals and was named Head Football Coach at a struggling NCAA Division 2 program. I was the youngest Head Coach in college football. I had all the answers and was confident that success was just around the corner. The next few years I learned more about my faith and trust in God than ever before. Over the next 3 years as a Head Coach, we won a total of 9 games going 1-7-1, 4-6, and 4-6. There were whispers behind my back of being fired and talks openly in coffee shops and meetings around town about my incompetence and lack of success. How could this be? I knew God had called me to be a Coach and I knew he desired success for me and it was all about to come to an end. Life was tough. During this same time, at home, my wife and I had become desperate to start our family. We had been trying to have a baby for several years without success. We had spent tons of time in prayer and tons of money on doctors and specialists trying to achieve pregnancy and the emotional drain and stress was getting very difficult to take. Month after month of failure left me questioning. We were Christians and could provide a great environment for a child. Why were so many unwanted babies being born? Why this and Why that? How come we were not being blessed with a child? Life was really tough. My life professionally and at home was tough and on the outside I continued to be faithful to our church and spoke openly about my faith yet on the inside I struggled to release all of who I am to God. It was through this struggle I learned that a true blessing from God is any situation that forces you to rely solely on him for life itself. I needed to continue to use everything that God had blessed me with to achieve success but to quit placing my faith on those things and instead rely on God. James 1:2 says to “consider it pure joy when life’s troubles come your way” and Malachi 3:3 says that “he will sit as the refiner and purifier”. You see, I knew God and I had experienced salvation but God was using my experiences to draw me into dependence on him, purifying my motives and desires for success and family. I wanted the glory and success. “Look what I accomplished”. I had to relinquish all to him and bring glory to him. I remember going to the office one morning about 5:00 o’clock and getting on my knees and placing all of who I am in his hands. Not just my salvation, reputation, marriage, career, or any other part but all of who I am. That morning my faith and my life changed. I knew that I would be able to glorify God in any circumstance of life. On June 6, 1995, we had a beautiful baby girl. She has grown into a wonderful young lady with a great heart and a passion for growing in her faith. In football, we had several kids come to know Christ and we went 26-5 over the next 3 seasons earning a championship and national top ten rankings. I don’t believe our success occurred because of relinquishing total control to God. I do know that God equipped me to deal with whatever would happen and that I would glorify him in any circumstance. I still struggle for control of my own life but I always have an experience to go back to that provides the foundation for my life. Life is good because God is good not because of my circumstance.” PS. If you have seen “Facing the Giants” you realize the theme for that movie is a lot like my struggle. I cried like a baby. I hope you enjoyed Coach Roberts’ testimony. If it spoke to your heart as it has mine, please direct your friends and family to this blog and help me spread some good news around this dark world!

Thank you for your time, 

Josh Steed 

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One Response to “Steve Roberts’ Testimony (Arkansas State Head Football Coach)”

  1. What an awesome testimony. Thanks for sharing it. I have a whole new outlook on him now!


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