Are you a sports fan? If so, you are probably aware that Canada’s own basketball team didn’t make it to the finals this year. After winning the 2019 NBA championship, rallying young and old in every city of the country to proudly chant We The North!, our Raptors lost to the Boston Celtics at Game 7.
Throughout the season, we believed in them to bring it home again, even without Leonard… victory would’ve been even sweeter without him. And as they played their hearts out in front of crowds that could only support them from outside the stadiums, thanks to COVID-19, they got win after win, playing like champs: brilliantly, with class and confidence.
Until they finally lost. Yes, they lost a great battle, but they’re still champs in our eyes.
Lessons From Moses
Have you ever lost a battle… against sin? For your marriage? Your career? Your health? Sometimes we fight against adversaries that succeed at defeating us. How do we keep our heads up, then?
We find in the Bible multiple verses that can help us stand in any situation. Here’s what God told Moses in Deuteronomy 31:6:
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (NIV)
Moses faced many battles – some he won, some he lost. Whatever the outcome, he could always take courage, knowing that the Almighty God was by his side. His losses did not change his identity, his relationship to God, or his mission. He was still a man loved and called by God. He was only going through a learning experience.
The same goes for you: though you may lose some battles, know that you are still a man loved and called by God. You’re only going through a learning experience.
Though you may lose some battles, know that you are still a man loved and called by God
In the end, God had the last word, and his plan for Moses was fulfilled. That’s why we remember Moses today not as a loser, but as a winner.
Lessons From Paul
The apostle Paul also went through a lot. He faced beatings, stoning, rejections, imprisonment, threats, and spiritual attacks from the enemy… He had many wins, but he also experienced what some would call setbacks.
Still, Paul learned to be content in whatever the circumstances. He knew what it was to have plenty, and he also knew what it was to be in need. That’s why he said in his letter to the Philippians: I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13, NIV). What ultimately made Paul a winner is that nothing could rob him of his status in Christ Jesus.
In the end, he could boast about the crown of glory reserved for him by God, whom he served faithfully.
What makes you a winner is not so much the victories you may accumulate throughout your life, but rather your perseverance in living for the glory of God with the strength that he gives.
Just like the Toronto Raptors, you will win some, and you will also lose some. But always remember that in the eyes of your Maker, you are more than a player in the game of life: You are a man loved and called to walk in the light of Christ’s victory at the Cross.
So whatever you’re going through, keep your head up!