I am putting procrastination in the backseat this week, so unlike last week when there was no post, even after much planning, this week is going to be different.
Question of the Day: “When you feel defeated, do you stay feeling defeated or do you defeat the feeling of defeat?”
Defeat can present itself in many ways – talk about comparison, competition, failure, depression, ill-health, near-success moments, losses and what not. Then we begin to doubt our invincibility and we wonder where we have missed it. We also wonder if something has gone wrong with us. Permit me to chip this in: Darling, nothing is wrong with you.
One of the things I have come to learn is that the feeling of overwhelm, sometimes, is a good feeling. It kind of communicates that you are willing to do more and be more, but you just don’t know how to. Without the feeling of being able to do more and be more, you just might do nothing at all. Defeat is like that feeling of overwhelm. Defeat might just be a greater feeling, where all hope seems lost and you have no idea what to do.
The Story of Gideon
Gideon, in the book of Judges, is a great example. Their enemies had gotten the better of them and the Israelites were starving. Then, there’s Gideon who was the least in his family, and whose family was the least in the tribe of Manasseh. The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the LORD is with you.” At this point, I am pretty sure Gideon hissed. In the midst of starvation and an ultimately low status, Gideon blurted, “If the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us?”
There! Many of us make statements just like Gideon – If God is with me, why did I lose that job? If God really loves me, why did this have to happen? Why didn’t I get that business deal? Why am I sick? In the midst of all our questions, God says, “I am with you.” As they say, the purpose of faith is not just to prevent you from trouble, sometimes the purpose of faith is to carry you through trouble and unto triumph.
What do I do?
As a Christian, the feeling of defeat does not equal the status of defeat, because thanks be to God who always causes us to triumph! In Christ, there is no defeat. How do I mean? Remember Jesus on the cross, being crucified for you and I? That must have been an absolute feeling of defeat. Although He was mocked, bruised, and sneered at, he took it all in. It took three days. Three days after, they knew who the Messiah was! Victory had come! My point to you today is that feelings of defeat will always show up – in minute ways and in major ways, but you do not have to give in to those feelings. You have the choice to rise above whatever makes you feel defeated and to choose the path of victory.
In the past month, I completed a Bible Plan on the YouVersion Bible App, called “15 Days in the Word with John Piper.” John Piper talked about the secret of invincible joy – the joy which cannot be defeated or frustrated. He explained how Jesus revealed the secret of this invincible joy to us. In Matthew 5:11-12, the Bible says, “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven…” and then in Luke 10:17-20, the Bible says, “When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!”18 “Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning!19 Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. 20 But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.”
Do you see any similarities between the two chapters? Your situation of defeat might not be a form of hate speech, as it is in Matthew 5. Nevertheless, Jesus encourages us to rejoice because our names are written in heaven. Piper says Jesus anchored the happiness of suffering saints in the reward of heaven and he anchored the happiness of successful saints in the same. When your joy is rooted in Jesus, it becomes invincible.
Looking again at the sixth chapter of Judges, it says the LORD turned to Gideon after he had complained, and said “Go with the strength you have…” You see that? There is still strength inside of you in the presence of defeat. Do not give up. Keep on keeping on. You are going to get through this and you are going to testify!
“Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent” – Anon
It is all in your hands! Keep the faith!
Bible Verses to Remember
Psalm 55:22 (TPT) – “So here’s what I’ve learned through it all: Leave all your cares and anxieties at the feet of the LORD, and measureless grace will strengthen you“
2 Corinthians 4: 8-10 (MSG) – “We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives!”
Psalm 34:19-20 (AMP) – “Many hardships and perplexing circumstances confront the righteous, But the Lord rescues him from them all. 20 He keeps all his bones;Not one of them is broken.”
Philippians 4:6-7 (AMP) – “Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. 7 And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].“
With Overflowing Love,