January 26

From Defeat to Victory

“I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.” Joshua 1:3

Abraham Lincoln is widely recognized as one of the greatest presidents in the history of our country. He stood tall and strong in a very critical and decisive time in our history. We certainly would regard him as a successful man. But this man also experienced failures throughout his life. 

When Abraham Lincoln went off to the Black Hawk War he was a captain. Through no fault of his own, he returned a private. That brought an end to his military career. His little country village shop “winked out” as he used to say. So he failed as a businessman. As a lawyer in Springfield, Illinois, he was too impractical, too unpolished, and too temperamental to be successful.

Turning to politics, he was defeated in his first attempt to be nominated for Congress and in his application to be Commissioner of the General Land Office. He was defeated in the Senatorial election of 1854 and in his aspirations for the Vice Presidency in 1856. 

Finally, he was elected President of the United States and fulfilled his destiny and the destiny of a nation. Although maybe not as dramatic, Lincoln’s experience is the experience of many of God’s people. The enemy of our soul comes to us after repeated defeats and whispers in our ears, “You’re a failure!” He tells us we will never win, we are trapped forever where we are, and we will never fulfill our God-given destiny. 

The first chapter of Joshua tells the story of God’s people who escaped the cycle of defeat and moved into the new day of victory. As we move into this new year, let us pray to be guided by God’s voice filled with promises of victory instead of our enemy’s voice filled with defeat and failure. 

Prayer For today: Dear Gracious Lord, we pray today, seeking Your guidance and wisdom, as we ponder how Good Shepherd Lutheran Church can serve the people coming to learn more about You. We need Your help Lord, to claim victory over evil for our church and ourselves. We pray that as a church, we may hear Your voice louder than the voices of fear, anger, confusion and defeat, so that, together, we can love You, love each other, and know how You want us to move forward as a church during this time. Amen

Personal Prayer: “Lord, I want to please You! What do You want me to do to help make the dreams of our church come true?”