Handling Defeat


“…And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” - Matthew 28:20


As athletes, most of us have experienced victory on the playing field, in the gym, on the road, etc., whether on a team or as an individual. Although we may not remember all the victories, we can probably recall how we felt during that time of victory. It was overwhelmingly satisfying, wasn’t it?

As athletes, most of us have also experienced defeat—maybe even more than victory. And just as we can remember the feelings of triumph, we also remember those of loss—the sadness, disappointment and remorse. Just plain defeated. If we think back, I’m sure we can remember that it was much easier to be thankful and appreciative during those times of victory.

But when it comes down to it, disappointment, sadness, happiness, remorse and joy all are feelings that God gave us, and it’s OK to “feel” those certain ways. What’s more important, however, is how we deal with those emotions, especially the negative ones. So, how do we deal with our disappointments in sports? On a bigger scale, how do we deal with disappointments in life? Are we just as thankful in those times as we are when things go well?

I know I struggle with this more times than I care to admit. But it’s important to remember that, as followers of Jesus, we are never alone. He promised to be with us “always.” Jesus didn’t say that He would be with us just during our victories. He said He would remain with us always. As Christians, we need to allow His presence to become part of our lives at all times—even in times of defeat when we don’t feel like He’s there or that He cares. We need to remember the truth that He has a plan and that He loves us no matter what the score. All we need to do is to let go and let Him in. In times of defeat, we need to recognize that He is there and that He wants to comfort us.

Today, ask yourself if you have allowed Jesus into your life to be with you at all times. Have you surrendered to Him and said, “It’s OK if I fail. It’s OK if I’m disappointed. He is with me!”? Victories in sports are great, but victories over the enemy are even better. One way to win spiritually is to remember that He is with you always, to the end of the age.

  1. When was the last time you experienced defeat in sports? How did you feel?
  2. How did you deal with those feelings?
  3. What about the last defeat you experienced in life? Did you allow Jesus to comfort you?
  4. How can you begin to view even defeat as victory in Christ?

Psalm 34:18 Romans 8:28 Romans 8:39

Bible Reference: 
Romans 8