Defeat. It’s a word which immediately conjures images of loss and discouragement. We've all experienced it. From losing an anticipated football game to the death of a loved one, we have all gone through various losses over the course of our lives. But what happens when defeat becomes more than a passing event in our lives? What if defeat is something we experience day-in and day-out? What do we do then?
Unfortunately, I’m all too familiar with defeat and its lasting effects. After being molested as a little girl, defeat became my traveling companion for all of life. I knew I was hideous and would never be attractive. When I contemplated trying new things, defeat reminded me I would fail, so I shouldn't even try. My heart knew trying to make new friends was pointless because no one would like me. And when I was diagnosed with lupus at seventeen, my failing health confirmed what I already knew to be true – I would never succeed at anything in life because my body wouldn't let me. Life was hopeless, or at least, my life was hopeless.
Defeat truly is a beast. A person can have the best of everything – health, money, friends, homes, cars – but if he is defeated in his thoughts, he will never accomplish anything in life. Yet if a person takes control of his negative thoughts, there is nothing that will stop him. I have seen this truth time and time again in my own life.
Maybe that’s why I love inspirational movies. They remind me what happens when a person chooses to persevere against all odds. Victory IS possible. Maybe you won’t become famous or a grand champion in a famous sport, but you CAN experience victory in life. It’s why Jesus went to the cross. His death and resurrection defeated sickness, suffering, pain, sadness, defeat, and death. His victory becomes our victory, when we allow it. Will there still be hard times? Absolutely! But going through difficult situations doesn’t mean we are defeated. Defeat happens in our hearts and minds, and the same is true for victory. When we walk in the truth and power of God’s promises, we ARE victorious! When we cry out to God and lean on Him throughout the circumstances of our day, we can accomplish more than we ever thought possible.
Below is my favorite scene from a movie called Facing the Giants. Whether or not you've watched this movie, I encourage you to watch this clip now. God is cheering you on today. He is walking right beside you, shouting for you to keep going, to not quit. Yes, what you’re going through is hard, but don’t quit! You are a champion! And if you've been walking in defeat, choose to walk this day in victory. Let today be a new beginning.
“Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how He did it. Because He never lost sight of where He was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—He could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now He’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility He plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” ~ Hebrews 12:1-3