Have you ever been on a losing team that would keep losing all the time? Then, like a miracle, your team wins a game. What do people think will happen the next game? Everyone thinks the team will win! Because they are no longer in disgrace. They don’t see themselves as losers but winners.
Do you ever tell yourself that you’re a loser?
God promises that his believers are not victims but victors. Nehemiah, a social reformed and spiritual leader in the Bible, was on a mission. He needed to persuade the people of Jerusalem that they weren’t losers and victims.
Yes, they had been acting like losers and victims. Yes, they had made bad decisions and walked away from God. Yes, the city of Jerusalem was a disaster zone after being demolished by the enemy. Nehemiah says, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire” (Nehemiah 2:17).
Their temple was destroyed. City walls torn down. Homes burned and abandoned. Nehemiah calls it a “disgrace” (Nehemiah 2:17). But he leads the people to return and rebuild. How? “The gracious hand of my God” (Nehemiah 2:18).
Where we create disgrace and trouble, God’s hand gives amazing grace.
Where our hands cling to idols (whatever we believe can make us happy without God), God’s hand pulls those idols away in his grace leaving us with empty hands that finally can pray.
Grace is God’s undeserved love, proven to be true for sinners by the gracious hands of Jesus nailed to a cross. Forgiveness. And three days later when Jesus rose from the dead—victory!
“We will no longer be in disgrace” (Nehemiah 2:17), Nehemiah promises. “The God of heaven will give us success” (Nehemiah 2:20).
Will you succeed in everything you do? In God’s terms, yes. Will you win in this life and eternal life, as a victor in Christ? As God promises, yes. Because success and victory in God’s kingdom is very different and much better than how our world’s eyes see it.
There will be trouble and temptation. There will be broken relationships and hurt-filled hearts. God’s hands cover these in grace. All of them. Just like he covered the injustice, evil and pain of his Son’s death in grace.
And that means, next time you will win!
PRAYER: God, your gracious hand covers me with underserved love. Your gracious hand covered the injustice and evil of your own Son’s death, and gave him victory. Hold me, God, with your gracious hand. Open your hand to hold anyone living as a victim, promising them that your grace makes them a victor. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Are you not yet fully convinced that in God’s terms, you always win?
- Read Psalm 121:7,8. How much harm does God keep you from?
- Read Romans 8:35-37. In how many things are you a victor? Who makes that a reality?
- Read 1 Corinthians 15:57. Does this convince you?