Victory Out of Defeat

You may want to download Ogg Vorbis or MP3 audio files and play them using your preferred media player.

Good morning and greetings. Welcome again to Meditation Moments.

In the 107th Psalm we find these words, and I know they’re quite familiar to many of you. “O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy, and gathered them out of the lands, from the east, from the west, from the north, from the south.

“They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble and he delivered them out of their distresses.” (Psalm 107:1–6) That’s a wonderful verse for those of you that are in distress right now, who feel like you have come to the very end of your rope. There are times in life when everything looks like absolute defeat.

I’ve been there a number of times, and it just seemed like I’d hit bottom and that was just the end of the road. But after much prayer and living in God’s Word, seeking the face of the Lord, I found it was just a little bend in the road, and God got the greatest victory out of that seeming defeat. I’ve learned in these lessons of life in the many years that the greatest victories in life come out of seeming defeat. When it looks like it’s all over and there isn’t any use to try again, out of that very defeat can come a mighty victory. It’s so in the Scriptures. You read it in so many, many places in God’s Word.

Now, there are some that are listening in right now that feel that this is the end of things. You’re always going to be just like this. You’ve lost a job maybe for some reason; I wouldn’t be able to guess the different reasons one can lose a position. But the future looks very dark financially, and you don’t know just how the family’s going to be cared for. Or there are some that have the hospital bills facing them. The wife’s been ill, and it just looks like you’ll never pull out of all the expense. There are those that are in desperate sickness today. Perhaps you have been under the operating knife, and you just don’t know how this thing is going to turn out.

Well, so many times, it happens that way, that God takes all of this when you’re down like that, and weaving together with His precious hands, He makes the most beautiful tapestry of life out of just such broken times, such broken threads. There is an old saying that “God’s way up is down,” and that certainly is the truth, that when we go down, we learn some needed lessons. We’re broken, humbled, and our hearts are softened in the loss, in the defeat, and then, gripping God afresh, we climb up again to greater victory. Sometimes when seemingly defeated, we find that it’s the very last key on the ring that opens the lock to victory.

That is why faith has done so much for some who have seemed so very defeated. For some people it has been, as I say, the financial string that has snapped, and they only had a few pennies left and they were seemingly just at the end. But from those few pennies, with God’s help, there have been some like Bob Laternal that faced right-about-face again, and a great fortune grew out of those few pennies, because they were determined with God’s help not to be defeated, and the greatest victory came out of the seeming defeat.

Some have lost loved ones, and in their loneliness, out of the scraps of their broken hearts, they have believed God and leaned on His comfort, and have later been monuments of blessing through service to other lonely lives.

It is out of seeming defeat that have come such real victories. Some have only a few strands of life left: health gone, body broken, yet they determine not to be defeated. And they have woven with fingers of faith those broken strands of life into some of the most beautiful patterns in all the tapestry of life.

The Lord wants to help you, and if you’ll trust Him, He can make melody out of one string. He can make a garment of praise in service to God out of just the little bit that’s left in your life, if you are determined to let Him have His way, and have the faith that God will give you the victory no matter what it seems that you’re facing now.

Some of you this morning are looking at defeated plans or programs, and there is so little left out of which to build a life, a love, or a living, but we pray that you’ll take the little that is left, and asking God to help you, determine to go on, to win out.

Many of God’s greatest vessels, the potter’s brightest ones, have been made from broken bits, and many of God’s masterpieces have been made from salvaged wreckage. Oh, I wish I had time to go into this fully from the Word of God.

We remember in Paul’s life what happened. My, what defeat it looked like! There he was, blind by the roadside. God had struck him down, and he had been a murderer of Christians. But with such faith in God, his blindness was healed, and out of that life that had to be broken even by the hand of God, there came such a wonderful victory until his name is known in all countries today. (Acts 9:1–22)

It’s so in so many of the Bible stories. You take the Hebrew children; they prayed. You just read the story, and see if they didn’t ask God’s help; but just the same, they were thrown into the fiery furnace. It looked like God hadn’t answered prayer; I say, it looked like it by the things that are seen. But after a while, the king saw someone else walking in the furnace with them. He said, “One like unto the Son of God.” God was with them in the furnace, and they were delivered out of that furnace, with not even the smell of smoke on their clothing! It looked like such a terrible defeat that they should go into the fiery furnace; but it was a greater victory because they had been in the fiery furnace. (Daniel 3)

This thing that seems like such a fiery trial in your life, God’s Word says, “Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial that is come upon you, as if a strange thing had happened unto you.” (1 Peter 4:12) It may seem very strange, and you say, “Why? Why has God let this come into my life?” But that may be the very stepping stone to the place where God wants you, if you’ll utterly trust Him, and put it all in His hands, and don’t lose faith. Don’t let the doubts come in. Rebuke every doubt, and that defeat can turn into the greatest victory, just like it did with Daniel.

Daniel didn’t want to go into the lion’s den, but into the den he went. And God closed the lions’ mouths! The king put his very seal upon the entrance to the lions’ den, and it couldn’t have looked like any greater defeat. But out of that den has come one of the greatest stories in history, and one that has inspired so much faith. (Daniel 6)

It never would have been such a great victory if it hadn’t looked like such a great defeat. Even so, dearly beloved, put it in God’s hands. Look to the Lord. “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of God will raise a standard against him” (Isaiah 59:19), God’s Word says. And He will. In that time that just looks so much like defeat, that is God’s opportunity to do a great thing for you, because “faith is the victory that overcomes the world,” and “all things are possible to him that believes,” and “nothing is impossible with God” (1 John 5:4; Mark 9:23; Luke 1:37). Don’t take it as the end of the road. Take it as something out of which God can weave something far greater.

God bless you. He is still on the throne. Our God has His hand on the helm of the universe. Prayer does change things.