Tag Archives: defeated

Overwhelmed

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

This morning I have the lyrics of Paul Baloche’s song “Lead Me To The Rock” going through my mind. The first verse says, “When my heart is overwhelmed, and my eyes are blind to you, and the pain of life is too heavy to bear, and then the mountains seem so high, and my faith’s too weak to climb, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” The song is based on Psalm 61:2 that says, “From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety” (NLT).

Each of us face difficult times in life. Then there are those times when the rain doesn’t seem to stop. The bad things pour on you. The bad news keeps coming. It can feel like you’re going to drown in sorrow. You think, “I don’t know what I’ll do if I get one more piece of bad news.” It’s in those times that your prayer should be like David’s in this Psalm. Ask God to lead you to the rock that’s higher than you are.

I know what’s it’s like to feel like the bottom is falling out from under you constantly. When you’re looking for something, anything solid enough to stand on. You can go to God in those times. He is the rock that you can stand on. A sure foundation in times of trouble. When you’re feeling overwhelmed by all that is going on in your life, you can call out to Him. I can let you know that in my own life, when I’ve done that, He has shown up and rescued me. He has walked through the storms with me.

Whatever you’re facing today, stop and pray that God would lead you to the rock. Don’t get caught up in all the bad news to the point that you forget where your faith lies. As Peter was going under during the storm, after having walked on water, he called out, “Lord, save me!” In Matthew 14:31, the Bible says, “Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him.” The storm didn’t stop until later, but that didn’t matter because he had the hand of the one whom the wind and seas obey. If you’re overwhelmed today, call out to Him and take His hand.

Photo by Images by Chauvin

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

You Are Not Forgotten 

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.


Despite what some people would have you believe, being a Christian doesn’t mean everything in your life will be fixed. You won’t win every battle, get every promotion, get rich, be the most attractive, be admired by everyone or be free from problems and stress. Those are not promised to us for being a Christian. In fact, Jesus put it this way in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (NIV).

In my life, I’ve been defeated, hurt, abandoned, broke and sucker punched. Those things didn’t make me less of a Christian. Instead they revealed how deep God’s grace is. When I’ve lost battles I desperately wanted to win, I found the peace that passes understanding. When I hit rock bottom and all my hope was gone, I found a firm foundation on which I could rebuild. The hardest times in my life didn’t make me less of a Christian. I would argue they made me a stronger one.

No matter how defeated I’ve been or how hopeless I’ve felt, God has used the struggle to strengthen me and my faith. He has brought healing to my deepest wounds and restored what the locust have stolen. His grace has been sufficient when my strength was gone. His love has endured through every trial and test. When my faith has failed, He was graciously patient with me and restored it. When I’ve lost battles I should have won, He gave me the strength to fight again.

Psalm 136:23 says, “He did not forget us when we were defeated; his love is eternal” (GNT). Of all the promises in God’s Word, this is one I really hang on to. When I’m defeated, He will not forget me. He won’t abandon me and leave me to drown in my self pity. His eternal love will restore my soul, fit the broken pieces back together again and be able to use me no matter how badly I’ve failed. In my weakness, I’ve found that He is strongest in my life. No matter what you face or are going through, God will not forget you. That’s a promise you can hold on to. 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

You Are Not Forgotten


Despite what some people would have you believe, being a Christian doesn’t mean everything in your life will be fixed. You won’t win every battle, get every promotion, get rich, be the most attractive, be admired by everyone, or be free from problems and stress. Those are not promised to us for being a Christian. In fact, Jesus put it this way in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (NIV).

In my life, I’ve been defeated, hurt, abandoned, broke, and sucker punched. Those things didn’t make me less of a Christian. Instead they revealed how deep God’s grace is. When I’ve lost battles I desperately wanted to win, I found the peace that passes understanding. When I hit rock bottom and all my hope was gone, I found a firm foundation on which I could rebuild. The hardest times in my life didn’t make me less of a Christian. I would argue they made me more of one.

No matter how defeated I’ve been or how hopeless I’ve felt, God has used the struggle to strengthen me and my faith. He has brought healing to my deepest wounds and restored what the locust had stolen. His grace has been sufficient when my strength was gone. His love has endured through every trial and test. When my faith has failed, He was graciously patient with me and restored it. When I’ve lost battles I should have won, He gave me the strength to fight again.

Psalm 136:23 says, “He did not forget us when we were defeated; his love is eternal” (GNT). Of all the promises in God’s Word, this is one I hang on to. When I’m defeated, He will not forget me. He won’t abandon me and leave me to drown in self pity. His eternal love will restore my soul, fit the broken pieces back together again, and be able to use me no matter how badly I’ve failed. In my weakness, I’ve found that He is strongest in my life. No matter what you face or are going through, God will not forget you. That’s a promise you can hold on to. 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Your Tomorrow is Coming

20130816-081226.jpg

My wife made some comments last night about how the book of Judges ended. I decided to open it up and read there today because it has been a while since I’ve dug through that book. I started in chapter 20 and found something I know I’ve read before, but now have a new perspective on. The story she was referring to was there. An Israelite had been traveling through the country and was in Benjamin’s territory. The men of the city came to them, raped his wife and killed her. He let the other 11 tribes know what happened and they came to his defense.

When the city and tribe of Benjamin wouldn’t give up the men who did this, the other 11 tribes sent word for their armies to come to the city to deal with it. Around 400,000 warriors showed up. They prayed and asked God which tribe should be out front in the attack. God responded with Judah. They went to attack and lost. They came back to God and asked, “Should we attack them again?” God replied, “Yes! Attack them.”

The next day, they went to battle again and got whipped. They came back weeping and crying. They fasted the rest of the day and asked God one more time if they should attack or should they call it quits. God said, “Attack! Tomorrow I’ll give you victory.” They went out the next day just as before. The army of Benjamin came out full force to attack, but this time was different. The army of the 11 tribes was victorious to the point they almost wiped out the entire tribe of Benjamin.

What I saw was that God gave them the go ahead to go into battle and they lost. Twice. They were in the will of God, there was no sin in the camp and they still lost. They didn’t just lose. They were humiliated. Their army of 400,000 was beaten twice by an army of less than 30,000. Plus, they had God on their side telling them to attack and to go into battle. When they went to God each night, He didn’t give them a reason that they lost. He just told them to go attack again. I’m sure their faith was shaken by the third day when they approached the battlefield.

Just because we’re in God’s will it doesn’t mean we won’t suffer loss. Even if we have God’s exact words to do something, we may not get the result we thought we were going to get. He may not tell us why we are suffering in the place He told us to go. We may feel humiliated about our circumstances and wonder what other people are saying. Doubt can come in and say, “Are you sure you heard God? Why did God bring me to this place just to let me be defeated?” Guard your mind against those thoughts and do what the army did each night.

They returned to the presence of God day after day. They continued to listen to His voice. They still followed His directions even though it had meant loss before. They also entered into a fast to ask for His favor. Then God said, “Tomorrow I’ll give you victory.” I don’t know when your “tomorrow” is, but I do know if you’ll keep trusting and obeying what God says, tomorrow will come. Victory will be yours. This time of loss will end and you will once again be restored and bring restoration to others.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Your Victory Has Been Won

We sang a song at church yesterday by Planetshakers. The words are still ringing in my mind this morning. It says, “Hallelujah! You have won the victory. Hallelujah! You have won it all for me.” As we sang it yesterday, I began to wonder, “How many Christians out there need a victory that has already been won for them?” Think about that for a minute. The victory many of us are looking for has already been won. Why do we still walk around defeated?

I see so many Christians who walk around with a defeated attitude. They aren’t walking in the victory that they are supposed to. Everything is doom and gloom. Nothing is going their way. They hang their head down and drudge along. They’ve allowed a culture of defeat to come reign in their life. That is not the life God intended Christians to live. That is not how someone who has had the war won for them should act.

Yes, we go through battles, trials and struggles. We aren’t going to be victorious in every one of them. We may even lose a lot in a row. Don’t confuse losing battles with losing the war. Battles are what we fight through to get to the end of the war. If you knew you were going to win the war in the end, wouldn’t you keep on fighting no matter how bad things looked now?

The person who has never lost a battle has not learned as much as those who have. It’s in our losses and failures that we find better ways to strategize and to grow. It’s in our losses that we get the determination to get back up. Proverbs 24:16 says, “The godly may fall seven times, but they will get up again.” It doesn’t say the godly won’t fall. We will. It’s part of life. It’s part of growth. Its part of what makes us who we are.

When I’m going through a time of multiple defeats, I hang on to Romans 8:37: Despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours (mine) through Christ who loves us (me). I change it a little to personalize it. I make it my own promise from God. You should too. If you’re feeling defeated today, read that scripture again. Out loud. Proclaim it. Louder! Overwhelming victory is yours through Christ who loves you. You are not defeated. You are victorious in Jesus’ name.

You don’t have to walk around with your head down. You don’t have to keep your head down just because you’ve failed or lost a few battles. The war has already been won by Jesus. No matter how bad things get, keep that in mind. You can and will survive this and will be victorious in the end. Walk in victory today through Christ because He has won the victory for you. Hold your head up, child of God. You are victorious.

Click here to listen to that Planetshakers’ song on YouTube.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Spiritual Apnea

One of the things you may not know about me is that I have sleep apnea. What happens is that when my body is at rest, the air pressure outside my body is greater than on the inside causing me to not only snore, but also can deprive my brain of oxygen. To fix the problem, I sleep with a CPAP machine and mask that pushes air into me. The machine creates a positive air pressure in me so that the pressure inside is greater than the pressure outside.

You and I walk in a world that is constantly trying to force us and to shape us into its mold. We are pressured from every side to compromise, to give in or up and to conform to its ways. Romans 12:2 tells us, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” It’s a clear command that we are to resist the pressures that are on the outside.

Sometimes the outside pressure is stronger than our inside pressure to resist. When we give in to those pressures, our spirit is deprived of the things it needs to stay strong and healthy. We start to exhibit the side effects of spiritual apnea. We fall asleep spiritually, our prayers cease to have the power they once had, our faith begins to wane. We eventually allow this to be the norm for our spiritual life. There is no growth only maintenance.

The good news is that God has given each of us His Holy Spirit to create a positive pressure in us to combat the external pressures of this world. Acts 1:8 says, “But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” God has given us the power, ability, efficiency and might to combat the pressures that come against us. Just like I have that CPAP machine, if I don’t use it, it’s wont help me create a positive pressure inside. We can be guilty of having the Holy Spirit and not using the power He has given us to have a positive pressure.

II Corinthians 4:7-8 tells us, “This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side, but we are not crushed.” The power and pressure God has given us will not allow us to be crushed by this world. His desire is not to just equalize the pressure between our inside and the world, but to create a greater power and pressure in us that extends into the world. We are not to maintain, but to advance. We are to conquer.

Romans 8 says that we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. God wants you to walk in victory today. We were not made to be defeated. Quit living like you’ve been defeated today because that’s not who you are in Christ. Change your mindset, access the power of the Holy Spirit that is dwelling in you and go create positive change today in your world. You have the power and ability according to what we read. Now walk in faith believing in the victory God has given you.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Holy Week

I wasn’t raised to really celebrate Holy Week. In fact, I probably didn’t know it was called “Holy Week” until about a decade ago. We always celebrated Palm Sunday and Easter, but never did anything to celebrate Maundy Thursday or Good Friday. As we celebrated Palm Sunday yesterday, I got to thinking about how this week in Jesus’ life is a lot like many of ours. It’s one more proof that He understands our joys and our pains.

If you are unfamiliar with the story, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. As he entered the city, the people began to lay palm leaves on the road and they shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of The Lord. Hosanna in the highest!” It was a parade for a Messiah from a people who thought He was there to deliver them from Roman rule.

He wasn’t there to deliver them from a temporary ruler. He was there to deliver them eternally from sin. They didn’t understand His true purpose. He wasn’t there to be lifted up as a magistrate so all would bow. He was there to be lifted up as a sacrifice for our sins. His purpose was to go there to die and He knew it riding in there that day. I often see pictures and adaptations of Him smiling and waving, but I wonder if that’s accurate. The day before, His face was set like a stone to go to Jerusalem. He was determined to complete His mission.

Somewhere between Sunday and Thursday the crowds turned on Him. The ones who had been yelling “Hosanna” now were yelling “Crucify Him!” Have you ever had life do that to you? One day you were on top of the world. Everything seemed to be going right and then, out of no where, it smacks you down? You’re left with questions, not answers. The ones who were your friends now act like your enemies. Your mind tries to process the information, but it doesn’t add up. “What just happened,” it tries to reason.

Jesus understands those thoughts and doubts. Even though He was determined, He still struggled with the pain and thought of what was going on. His human nature was very much alive. We don’t read about Satan tempting Him here, but you better believe he was working double time on Jesus’ mind during this week. Jesus understands what it’s like to have those closest to you turn their back on you and not even acknowledge that they know you. The difference is He loved them anyway.

Even though they turned on Him, He refused to turn on them. He came here so that we would have forgiveness of our sins. He came to show us that we can still overcome when the world turns its back on us. We can have victory because He was victorious. As you go through this week, don’t just let it be another normal week. Take time this week to read and think through what Jesus went through for you. Be amazed at the pain He endured to show you love and to bring you home. This is Holy Week. This is why He came.

I’m curious to know how others around the world celebrate this week. Let me know how you celebrate it in the comments section below.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized