A few weeks ago I played a soccer game, and along with all of my other teammates I had high hopes for a win. I went into it very confident and sure we could come out on top. When I showed up at the field I found out that two of our players were not coming. One of them was an incredible goalie, while the other was a very important cog in our back line defense.

It was 2-2 at halftime, and we all were very disappointed with our team performance. Two calls by the referee was just awful and greatly effected the score. I wasn’t happy at all.
You are probably thinking, “What is the big deal- it’s a tie game.” Well, it didn’t stay that way. The other team got a corner kick and when the ball came flying in, one of their big, tall players jumped up and headed it in. He was too tall and could jump too high; there was no way we could stop him. That was frustrating. The game ended 3-2 with us losing. I was as mad as a wet hen. My big thing was our lack of players and those two bad calls by the ref. The other thing was that we were ranked higher than the team we played. We were on the losing side of an upset. At the end of the game we all sat in circle and the coach told me something that really sunk in: “If we are all sunshine and happiness when we win, that is no big deal. But when it’s time to lose, do we act the same way? Or do we delight when we win and mope when we lose?” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

In our lives everything is not going to be smooth sailing. There are going to be up periods and there are going to be down periods. [ Ecclesiastes 3:1] How we handle the down periods greatly changes the affects that it has on us. Future trials will come your way, and how you handled former trials will determine how you deal with greater and more complicated down periods of life.

This subject of “ups and “downs” always gets me thinking about an eternal mindset. What really matters when you put everything on this earth into perspective? We all will die someday, and then eternity is all that matters. Does whether or not we go 6-0 in our regular season matter in eternity? [ Please remember that I am preaching to myself just as much as I am to you.]

Defeat is all a part of life. I think you would all agree with me that my expectations of going 6-0 were a little far fetched. We should expect defeat in our lives but not let it rule the way we live and give us an excuse for apathy. Writing about this always gets me thinking of how Paul and Silas dealt with defeat. What did they do? They sang hymns! They praised God even when tribulation was thrown right in their face…whipped and thrown in prison, all based on a false accusation when all they were trying to do was preach the gospel.

Boy, that hits home for me. I faced a small trial just a few days ago with our goat fencing. It was sagging, which means my impetuous goats will begin looking for ways to get out. While I was trying to fix it, they succeeded. I won’t go into too much detail, but let’s just say when I saw the goats munching in my Dad’s garden, I didn’t sing hymns. [You can ask my mother how I reacted…she’ll probably laugh]

1 Thessalonians 5:18 is basically the scripture that this whole post is based on. Please remember that whatever trials and defeats that you have experienced or are experiencing now are nothing compared to what is in store for us in heaven. We always have something to be grateful for. Rejoicing can change our mindset from negative to positive real fast. Before I leave, I would like to leave you with a simple challenge- this week, rejoice in who you are in Christ. We have a lot to be joyful about.