The Greatest Victories from Apparent Defeats

“‘But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself.’
        He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.”   
John 12:32-33

What do you think the devil thought when Jesus was crucified? He probably thought that he had won. What a great feat! He killed the Messiah, the promised one. He lied to the world and convinced them to destroy the only hope of mankind!

But what really happened? Jesus rose from the dead. What looked like an amazing victory for the devil turned into his worst nightmare.

God gets his greatest victories out of apparent defeat. Very often the enemy seems to triumph for a little, and God lets it be so; but then He comes in and upsets all the work of the enemy, overthrows the apparent victory, and as the Bible says, turns the way of the wicked upside down”  (from Streams in the Desert). 

In life, we would all prefer victories, but many times God uses setbacks and apparent defeats to build our character, strengthen our faith, and set us squarely on His path. Les Steckel, with 32 years of coaching football, said: “Life’s greatest victories often come after embarrassing defeats.”

The story of Esther describes what looked like doom for all the Jews in the land. At the last minute, God turned the tables and instead of the Jews being killed, it was their enemies.

Does the world news ever get you down?  Maybe it’s recent Supreme Court decisions. Are you ever tempted to think we are losing the conflict for the souls of men?  Please remember this: what we see today is really a setup for the glory of God!

Gary Osborn
Candlewood Church
Omaha, NE

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