Sunday, November 9, 2014

Even When I lose, I Win

Romans 8:28-29 states, " And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  For who he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethern."

That scripture is everything!  Verse 28  means that God has purposefully and thoughtfully predestined his children to win.  It doesn't matter what obstacle we face, we were born to win.  Verse 29 reassures us that everything that we go through, is designed to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ.  So, even when we lose or it seems like we're losing, there's a lesson to be learned.  When we embrace the lesson, our hearts become more tender towards God and we mature in Christ.  Let's look at an Old Testament example of God's people winning even though they lost.

In 1 Samuel 4, the people of Israel become engaged in war with the Philistines.  During the first battle of this war, the Philistines killed 4,000 men.  What?!  God's people were destroyed by their enemies?  Yes, that happened.  The people of Israel were angry, discouraged, and because of the loss, they got desperate.  Instead of asking God for guidance, they prematurely sent for the ark of the covenant, which was a symbol of God's Divine Presence, and engaged in another battle with the Philistines (1 Samuel 4:3-9).  This time, Israel lost 30,000 men in battle and the ark of the covenant was taken by the Philistines.

In all of their losing, they were still winning.  The losses on the battle field were necessary in order to fulfill a prophecy (1 Samuel 2:34) and even though the ark of the covenant was taken, it was ushered into the enemy's camp where it destroyed the Philistines (1 Samuel 5:1-6).  The ark of the covenant was transferred from camp to camp for seven months destroying and plaguing the enemies of Israel (1 Samuel 5: 10-12).  Finally, the Philistines gave the ark of covenant back to Israel with offerings of gold and animals among other things (I Samuel 6: 1-12).

God does the same thing for us everyday.  Sometimes we make bad decisions, sometimes the enemy is trying to distract us and sometimes life happens, but in every thing, God is always working to ensure that we mature in Him and live the life that he intended for us to live.  Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."

Memory Scripture: Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus said, "You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."

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