"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."
-2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Just when you think things can't get any worse, the tires fall off. That's what the United States learned at the Ryder Cup two years ago. After trailing by a daunting six points heading into the final day of the 2004 tournament, the wheels came off of the team's rally wagon as they suffered the worst defeat in Ryder Cup history to the Europeans, 18 1/2 to 9 1/2. Frustrated U.S. captain Hal Sutton said, "We're bleeding but we're not dead. We'll get back up, and we'll fight again."
In the world of sports there are losses and then there are LOSSES. I've never met a person who enjoys losing, although some handle it better than others. A tough loss can make some want to quit and make others more determined to win. I believe the difference lies in a person's perspective. Those who don't see the hope of a better future quit, and those who believe there are better days ahead use a loss as an opportunity to find ways to improve.
I'm sure the U.S. Ryder Cup team was "perplexed" and "struck down" after their loss to the Europeans. The Apostle Paul went through some tough losses in his life as well, but he was not destroyed by them, because no matter what happened on the outside, he kept an eternal perspective on the inside. The hope of eternity with his Lord made Paul continue getting up when others knocked him down.
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all" (2 Corinthians 4:16-17).
1. What is one of the toughest losses you've had in sports? How did you handle it?
2. How has God helped you get through tough times in life?
3. Who do you need to encourage today that is going through a difficult time?
2 Corinthians 12:8-10