Only thirty seconds were left on the time clock. Our high school basketball team was being humiliated by the future state champs. The score was a lopsided 49 to 25, and the opposing team was on the foul line, about to shoot a free throw to bring their score to 50 points, doubling our feeble efforts and rubbing salt into an open wound. Their player commenced his pre-shot routine and lifted the basketball to just above his eye level, poised to launch his shot.
“Make the fiftieth point!”
One of my classmates shouted at the critical moment, rattling the shooter and causing him to miss. Laughter erupted from our side of the arena. It was poor sportsmanship from our school and completely unnecessary. The outcome of the game had already been decided since there was not enough time to make up such a huge point deficit. It was stating the obvious and sarcastically taunting them, simply piling on as bitter losers. After all, how could it get any worse?
Since that day, I have shouted this phrase when events of a day go awry, like that hapless basketball game, and I am pessimistic that any hope of recovery is possible. The other day, because of traffic, my cases arrived an hour later than usual, our computer electronic medical record program crashed, and we were short one employee. In short, we were behind before we even began the day. How could it get any worse? “All right!” I derisively shouted. “Let’s make the fiftieth point!”
My spiritual life is no different. Satan continually taunts me, desperately attempting to deceive me into thinking that God could not possibly be in control of this world. The recent events could make a compelling case for his accusations. A global pandemic, widespread rioting and looting, an alarming rise in hurricanes, fires, and natural disasters-How could an all-powerful God be in control? “God is certainly not in control!” declares Satan. “I am!” Will it only get worse? It would be easy for me to give in to the temptation and accept my status as a bitter loser. God has a better answer.
The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Revelation 20:10 (CSB)
Make the fiftieth point!
It was bitter sarcasm when this was first uttered, giving up when there was no hope. This is exactly what Satan wants me to believe. It is another lie propagated by the father of lies. Even if current events suggest that all is lost and I and the rest of mankind are losers, God has already declared victory. This prophecy from the Book of Revelation declares that God has absolute sovereignty over Satan and this universe. He proved it by sending His only Son, Jesus Christ, to defeat Satan and the power of sin in our lives. By confessing and repenting of our sins and accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we can eternally break the bonds of sin that have imprisoned us and receive salvation and eternal life through faith in Jesus.
We are not bitter losers. We are triumphant conquerors through faith in Jesus Christ!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.