Victory: Bigger Than Winning

Ready Keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. — Hebrews 12:2
Set Webster’s dictionary defines victory as “the winning of a battle, war, or any struggle.” The definition of winning is “to finish first.” Is it possible to gain a great victory and still not finish first? Which is more important: victories or wins? Legendary Coach Bear Bryant took over a Texas A&M football team in 1954 that had won only a handful of games in several years. He carried 111 players to a tiny west Texas town called Junction for preseason practices. Those two weeks are the stuff of legend as only thirty-five players were left to board the buses back to College Station. That season the Aggies won just one game. Coach Bryant would later say, “Something happened in those boys that went one and nine that year. Through a lot of blood, sweat, and tears they learned what it really took to win.” Though they weren’t winning, they were gaining some big victories every week: victories over pain, adversity, selfishness, and complacency. In 1955, Texas A&M went nine and one, winning the Southwest Conference championship. Through many small victories, they learned how to win. As followers of Jesus Christ we encounter all sorts of battles, wars, and struggles. We battle against personal weaknesses. We war against a sex-saturated world. We struggle with making godly choices. Sometimes at the end of the day, we feel defeated. But, by keeping our eyes on Christ and His Word, we gain small victories every day. As we obey Him in the small, daily choices in our lives, He sets us firmly on a winning course.
Go 1. Can you think of a recent game in which your team gained a victory but lost the game? 2. How did it affect them? 3. What victory have you recently won in obedience to Christ?
Workout Extra Reading: Romans 8:37–39; Hebrews 12:1–2
Overtime Lord, please help me understand that I can be more than a conqueror if only I put my trust in You. I praise Your name for giving me all I need to be victorious in all areas of life. God, give me the knowledge to teach my players how to win on the battlefield of life. Amen.
Bible Reference: 
Hebrews 12