Your greatest defeat has the potential to be transformed into your greatest determination.
It was the pain of being defeated by one point in the 2005 Grand Final that gave the Eagles even more determination to succeed the following year – and with a lot of hard work (and possibly some other extra curricular activities!) they got over the line by one point against the Swans to win the ultimate prize!
After following Him for three years with the expectation that He would soon conquer their enemies, Jesus’ closest friends had suddenly come face to face with the biggest defeat of their lives, as they witnessed Jesus being brutally murdered on a cross, and now his lifeless body lay dead in a tomb.
With all hope gone, they withdrew in fear and gathered together to hide:
‘[In the evening], the disciples [gathered] together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders’ – John 20:19a
But right at their lowest point, in the midst of their depression and defeat, the unimaginable happened, and Jesus Himself ‘came and stood among them saying, “Peace be with you!” (20:19b)
In one moment, all pain and fear left – and they ‘were overjoyed when they saw the Lord!” (20:20)
Jesus brought peace right into the midst of confusion – and where fear once took hold of them, faith began to rise in their hearts – igniting a fire inside that would never die out.
It’s at this moment that most stories end. The enemy is defeated, the victory has been won, and they will live happily ever after. However the purpose of the peace that Jesus gives is not for a happy ending, but the beginning of the next chapter.
In the same way that Jesus brought peace in the midst of defeat, so too Jesus sent these disciples to do the same:
“As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (20:21)
In that moment, all defeat was transformed into a new determination to bring this peace to the entire world – and despite facing the threat of death, these disciples would go on to turn the worlds upside down!
Never let your defeat have the last word, but invite Jesus to come in and give you the peace that will transform the threat of termination into your greatest determination!