You may have lost a battle, but the war is not over.
You may have been defeated, but not destroyed!
The Battle of Waterloo is considered Napoleon’s final defeat. It was the battle that brought an end to his empire. As a matter of fact, “He’s met his Waterloo” is a widely used expression in Europe today that means the person has suffered their final setback or defeat. You and I have lost a battle here and there. We’ve faced disappointment, heartache and loss. But it’s the Devil who met his Waterloo at the empty tomb! The enemy we face has already been destroyed.
Two days before the Battle of Waterloo, the Prussian army was defeated at the Battle of Ligny. It had been Napoleon’s plan to pick off the allied armies one by one before they had a chance to unite together against him, but the Prussians refused to let defeat keep them down. They knew their option was keep fighting, or surrender to the command of their enemy.
A storm set in the night before The Battle at Waterloo—just one day after the Prussian’s defeat. The ground was saturated and waterlogged, and Napoleon held off his troops long enough to let the ground dry. But while the enemy schemed his next attack, the Prussian army that had been defeated, but not destroyed, gathered up their remaining 30,000 troops and marched to Waterloo to join the battle with their allies.
You may have lost a battle, but the war is not over. You may have been defeated, but you are not destroyed! Pull up your bootstraps and keep marching forward. Remember that defeated army had to march through a storm to join forces with their ally. If that storm hadn’t come, they would have never had the chance to get where they needed to be! Sometimes what looks like an obstacle is an opportunity; we must change our perspective to change our position!
To make this battle even more sensational, while all of England was waiting on word from the battlefield, a heavy fog rolled in. When the signal by light was finally visible, it read, “Wellington defeated.” I imagine the hearts of all across England sank deep as they thought now they would surely be subject to the French Emperor. But as the fog cleared, so did the message. It actually read, “Wellington defeated the enemy.”
On that Friday when Christ hung on the Cross it seemed the message was “Christ defeated.” But on Sunday when Jesus rose from the grave and secured our eternal salvation, the message became clear, and the ultimate battle was won! “Christ defeated the enemy!”
We will face battles in this life. We will suffer defeat. But we will not be destroyed! We will all have our own “Fridays” where it feels like our dreams are dashed and our hearts are heavy with sorrow. But Sunday is coming! Unlike the Prussian army defeated at Ligny, and all the allied armies fighting to defeat Napoleon, we already know the outcome. How much more should we keep fighting when things get tough? How much harder should we push back when the enemy is pressing down on us? The fog will roll away, and our victory is imminent!
Jentezen Franklin, Originally called The Devil’s Warloo