I’m discovering that there isn’t some magic switchover that happens when you come to know Jesus where all of a sudden you just start winning at everything. In fact, as a follower of Jesus in this world, we will face losses; the Bible even tells us this in John 16:33. I know you may thinking, “Amy, I know this already”, or “Obviously, Amy”. However, if you’re anything like me, I often find myself in the place where I assume that because I am a follower of Jesus, I “deserve to win”.
We do this often and in many different ways—“I don’t deserve to be treated like that”, “I don’t deserve to be placed here”, “I don’t deserve to deal with this”, and “I don’t deserve this life because I’m a good person”. In these thought patterns, each loss becomes devastating.
The more I have come to know Jesus, however, the more I have realized that whether I win or lose doesn’t define me. We are not the sum total of our victories or defeats. We are defined
by one thing: our identity as a child of God. Because of this identity our defeats aren’t really defeats anymore and they no longer hold their power over us. It is through our identity in Jesus that we can not only celebrate the wins of life—we can also celebrate the losses.
But how do we remember and live out this simple truth in our day to day? Here are 3 ways that have helped me celebrate the wins and the losses in my life:
- Remember who we are. The starting point during every victory or defeat must always be here. Who is your identity in? When your identity is in Jesus, you don’t need to boast in your wins or abilities, or lack there of. When your identity is in Jesus, your value is solid; it no longer wavers based on your performance. When your identity is in Jesus, you no longer need to rely on your small strength, but can rest in the great strength of a Savior who endured everything for you. When your identity is in Jesus, you know that your story has been redeemed and you are a victor no matter what you face.
- Remember each loss provides a route to a greater victory. Often our losses are a result of our own shortcomings and provide lessons in which we can learn from. We can use each defeat to grow and learn; to help us become who God made us to be. If we are using our defeats to become more like Jesus, are they really losses any more?
- Remember where we are going. This isn’t the end of your story. Your life didn’t begin at the beginning of the challenge and doesn’t end where the defeat or victory is. If you’re a Christ follower, God has destined you for forever with Him. In the light of eternity, does this moment amount to as much as you are making of it? You are a victor in Christ. Whether you win, lose, or draw in this specific instance, you have won a much larger battle through Christ.
Your life on this earth wasn’t happenstance and isn’t meaningless. God has been planning for you since before the earth was even created, whether your parents planned you or not. You are not some sum of accidents and your life hasn’t occurred by random chance. God has always known the wins and the losses you will face. He has always known when He was going to get to celebrate with you, and when He was going to comfort you. As much as He is a God who knows that this life can be difficult, He is a God who wants to give us good things and turn those defeats into incredible victories.
So what has you feeling defeated right now? What is stopping your journey of becoming who God has made you to be? What do you believe is bigger than our all-powerful creator? What do you believe is bigger than God’s love for you?
Today, let’s stop allowing our wins and losses to define us and start celebrating the fact that we are victors in Jesus. Let’s start celebrating the ultimate win that each of our becoming stories will have because of who He is and what He has already done!
“But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57