Dr. Dan Hayden

So, when are you really a loser . . . when somebody says you are? When you, yourself, think you are? Or, when you actually lose?

I am writing this the day after the Iowa caucuses (February 2, 2016), and Donald Trump lost to Ted Cruz. In fact, according to political pundits, Ted Cruz got more votes than any other candidate in Iowa history.

The irony in all of this is that Donald Trump boasted of running the table in the Republican Primaries. He boasted that he’s a winner—and winners don’t lose. The hard reality however is that he did lose. Even Marco Rubio closed his margin on Mr. Trump to finish a strong third. So, is Donald Trump a loser?

The Iowa caucus is just the first inning in the election game. Any team that thinks they’re losers because they’re behind at the beginning of the game will probably fulfill their self-imposed destiny. I’m a has-been athlete. I’ve played and watched a lot of games, and I learned early-on that “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Comebacks are the lifeblood of sports. Comebacks also make exciting politics.

Now, I’m not a politician, and I have no desire to become one. But Monday night I watched a perfect illustration of the Christian life. The elite of our world have always thought of Christians as losers. They think we’re stupid to believe in a Savior who died on a cross. Historically, Christians have been easily overrun by the rich and powerful. Obviously there are Christians who have excelled and won in various endeavors. But generally speaking, the followers of Christ are demeaned and ridiculed . . . even persecuted and killed.

Remember though—it’s not over till it’s over. As Erwin Lutzer once said, even when the Church seems to lose, Christ wins: “When Christians and the Church are in the Devil’s hands, we are still held firmly in the hands of God, not in the hand of man” (The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent).

In retrospect, those who are behind but ultimately win are really winners even when they are perceived as losing.

God’s Word assures us that even while believers in Jesus Christ are marginalized, belittled, and persecuted—they are “more than conquerors through Him who loved us” Romans 8:37.

In the end, Christ wins—and we win with Him. That means that even when we seem to be losing, we are winners. That’s awesome!