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2020 was a difficult year for so many. Resolutions that were made were forgotten. Goals that were set were thrown out the window. People’s worlds were turned upside down with the loss of family members, the loss of jobs and the lack of true human connection. It was a year of loss for so many, but I believe that God has a plan and is able to take a year like that and to make something good out of it. The world sees times like that and it produces fear that prevents them from moving forward. As Christians, even if life hits us in the face, knocks us down or blindsides us, we get back up and move forward because we are driven by God’s purpose and led by His Spirit.
I can’t help but think of Job and all he went through. In one day he lost his fortune, his livestock, his servants and his kids. He took a knock out blow from life, but instead of staying down, he worshipped God and kept moving forward. He was then attacked with a terrible skin disease. His wife told him to curse God and die. His friends told him it was a punishment from God because of hidden sin. Even though he wished he would have never been born, he still worshipped God. In Job 17:19, he told his friends, “The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger” (NLT). He knew that things happening to him were not because of sin, so he kept getting back up and moving forward.
How do you respond to tough times? Do you let it keep you down or do you get back up? The easy choice is to stay down and to submit to it, but that’s not what God calls us to do. Proverbs 24:16 says that the righteous get knocked down seven times, but they get up again. No matter how many times life knocks us down or what it throws at us, we must get back up and move forward. God has the ability to make all things (including 2020) work together for our good. We have the righteousness of Christ around us that helps us to move forward and to grow stronger through adversity. At all times, in all circumstances, find a way to worship God. It will give you the right perspective and the strength to get back up so you can move forward.
In high school, I played basketball, but our school was very small. One night we were playing a much larger school and we were down by 20 at the half. Coach threw the door open coming into the locker room. He screamed, “Are y’all scared of them because they’re taller than you? Are you scared because they’re more athletic? It must be something because you’ve quit. You’re a bunch of quitters! If there’s one thing I hate, it’s a quitter…If you quit, I quit!” He stormed out as loudly as he came in. Our captain said, “Let’s Open with the starting five in a Black Diamond defense. Lets get out there and win!” Coach returned halfway into the third and we won that game that night because we got back out there and played hard.
Not long after the Israelites defeated Jericho, they went to fight a small town. They only sent 10% of their warriors. The other city beat them, chased them down and embarrassed them. Joshua returned to the camp and fell on his face before the Lord. He laid there all day giving up. In Joshua 7:10 the Lord said to him, “Get up! Why are you lying on your face like this?” (NLT) God told him to get back up, fix the problem, get back out there and fight. After finding and removing sin in the camp, they went back to that town and soundly defeated them.
How do you deal with defeat? Do you quit, hide or get depressed? One defeat doesn’t not define you. Ax God told Joshua, you need to get back up, make adjustments and get back out there. Your life is not over. There is still a lot of fight in you, plus you’re not fighting alone. God is with you. Proverbs 24:16 says, “For the lovers of God may suffer adversity and stumble seven times, but they will continue to rise over and over again” (TPT). No matter how many times you’re defeated or fall flat on you’re face, get back up and fight. Don’t quit. You’re victory is ahead.