The Joy of Victory and the Agony of Defeat

by Justin Morton

Like many of you, after Bible class on Sunday evening, our family tuned in to watch Super Bowl LVIII. Now I know for some people the Super Bowl is just a time to get together with family and friends, eat some delicious food and share some laughs. But for those who truly love the game, the Super Bowl is the most important game of the entire year. Certainly it is the most important game for the players who participate.

This year’s game came to an exciting conclusion in overtime. But it’s what happened at the end of the game that I want to draw your attention to. At the end of the game, while some people were celebrating a victory, other people were crying in defeat. As I watched the Chiefs celebrate their victory, I could not help but think about the agony of defeat for the 49ers players. They were so close to being crowned Super Bowl champions. The San Francisco 49ers lost the most important game of the season, the game they had been training and preparing for all year. Their team fell just short of their desired goal. Now they have an entire offseason to think about how close they were and what they missed out on.

The day is coming when the clock will strike zero, and our lives will come to an end. Each one of us will stand before the Lord and give an account of how we lived (2 Cor. 5:10). Many people have the goal of living eternally in heaven forevermore when that day comes. But much like the aftermath of the Super Bowl, on that day some will get to celebrate the greatest victory known to man, while others will be left with a pain and regret unlike any other ever experienced. Those individuals will be cast away from the presence of the Lord for all of eternity (Matt. 25:41-46).  And much like the players of the San Francisco 49ers, they will have lots of time to reflect on what might have been and all the opportunities they had to obey the Lord (Lk.16:25).

May we live our lives in obedience to the will of God so that when our game is over, we will experience the joy of victory instead of the agony of defeat.