Turning Defeat Into Victory

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Joseph Hooker was brimming with confidence. Newly appointed commander of the Army of the Potomac, “Fighting Joe” had every advantage. Approaching Chancellorsville, Virginia, his army was double the size of the Confederate army he pursued. His plans, he declared, were “perfect.” He even stated that “God Almighty” could not deprive him of victory over his enemies. But after first gaining the initiative in battle, Hooker became frozen with self-doubt.

Meeting on the evening of May 1, 1863, Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, the leaders of the Southern forces, learned that Hooker’s left flank was vulnerable. Lee devised a bold strategy that future generations would call “his military masterpiece.” The result was total victory for the South.

The Israelites, too, suffered because of misplaced confidence. After defeating the walled city of Jericho, they were overcome by the numerically inferior forces from Ai. Yet God then gave Israel a strategy to turn defeat into victory. They fooled the people of Ai into falling for an ambush. The plan worked perfectly.

The Israelites learned how easy it can be to feel overconfident. Foolishly, we can place our trust in ourselves and our resources. Smug about the outcome of our battles, we can be tempted to let down our guard.

There are critical lessons here. Every day, we need to stay vigilant and humble. Instead of taking anything for granted, we must trust God and seek His wisdom and direction.

In your life, commit every project and decision to God. Let Him direct your path. And stay humble before Him. He can give you victory and turn around any situation.