Purpose in Defeat


Look at the nations and observe—be utterly astounded! For something is taking place in your days that you will not believe when you hear about it.–Habakkuk 1:5


As Christian athletes we sometimes fall into the trap of thinking that God is always on our team’s side. We think, Why would God not want us to have victory on the playing field? Are we not more righteous than our opponents? (For some reason I always saw the other team as the bad guys). Even more, Why would He not want us to experience victory?

Habakkuk cried out to God for answers to questions like these. He could not understand why God would allow such evil and horrible injustice to take place in his land. God gave him an answer he couldn’t believe. God told him the Chaldeans were going to invade his land. God had purposed that the Chaldeans—a nation more evil than his own—were going to be His instrument of justice among the people of Judah.

As followers of Christ, we must remember that His ways are higher than ours. Sometimes God will use defeat—even defeat handed to us by people who want nothing to do with God—to complete His purpose. This is what He did when He allowed evil men to crucify Jesus Christ, and this is what happened to the tribe of Judah in Habakkuk’s day. God can use evil and pain to accomplish His best interests in our lives.


1. Does the idea that God uses defeat to accomplish His purposes bother you?
2. How has God used defeat in your life?
3. Are you prepared to remain faithful and trust in His Sovereign plan in the midst of defeat?


Habakkuk 1–3


Dear Lord, You are the God of justice and mercy. Your ways are higher than my own. Please help me to trust in Your perfect plan, even in the midst of defeat. I affirm my faith in You, Lord, and thank You that You are in control—not me. Amen.

Bible Reference: 
Habakkuk 3