A Greater Story

A Greater Story

Sam CollierBy Sam Collier5 Minutes

Book Excerpt from A Greater Story: My Rescue, Your Purpose, and Our Place in God’s Plan by Sam Collier


What did God mean that night when he said, “If you can lose, then you can also win”?

Looking back on that day when I sat on my mother’s couch drowning in sorrow, I remember doing some real wrestling with God. I thought a lot about winning. I thought a lot about losing. And slowly, I felt hope rise in my soul. What had been utter darkness was rimmed by a glimmer of light. I had been on the verge of suicide, and yet now I saw a way out. It’s one thing to be depressed by life, but quite another thing to be depressed by the church. The church represents God, so to be disappointed by the church is to experience disappointment in God.

I asked God why he had given me so many dreams and no way to fulfill them, and in response, he showed me that I wasn’t angry with anything the church had done but rather with something the church hadn’t done.

I started to understand that it was what I didn’t know that was killing me. I began to ask the question, “What didn’t I know that I should have?” That question would lead me down a path that started to reveal the “mysteries of the kingdom,” as Jesus called them — things that were right before my eyes that I did not see and that the church here in America hadn’t shown me. It was like a scene from the Chronicles of Narnia: everywhere I turned, I found a new treasure. It was a series of extreme fact findings and connecting of dots. A study of human behavior with a contrast of scriptural consistency. I would find those who were “winning” with Jesus in a certain area and reverse engineer how they got there. I started to “work out my salvation,” as the Scripture encourages us to do (see Phil. 2:12 NASB).

It was the best decision I’d ever made.

The verse that became the foundation for my radical shift in thinking is found in John 10:10, which says: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (NKJV).

In the original Greek language, that word “abundant” means advantage. What Jesus was saying was that he had come so that we might live life with an advantage.

This was mind-blowing news to me.

“If you can lose,” God had said to me, “then you can also win.” Jesus had come to give me an advantage. Jesus had come to help me win. In the words of DJ Khalid, God had just dropped a major key on me. We’re in a game with a real, live opponent. The enemy, the devil, forces of darkness. And yet, because of Jesus, we can win. Yes, the enemy seeks to kill and destroy, but Jesus longs to bring us life! He longs to bring us victory! He longs to bring us the win.

Because of Jesus, we can spread the Good News of the kingdom. Because of Jesus, we can tell people about grace.

Because of Jesus, we can spread love in the world. Because of Jesus, we can find our purpose in life.

Because of Jesus, we can take care of our family, we can take care of each other, we can defeat racism, we can defeat sexism, we can defeat poverty and sickness and low self-esteem. Because of Jesus, we can overcome gang activity, and violence, and child slavery, and greed. Yes, the enemy is playing against us, but in Jesus, we have the win. In Jesus, we never lose. I needed that word just then.

Order your copy of A Greater Story: My Rescue, Your Purpose, and Our Place in God’s Plan by Sam Collier.

Published by Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group (2020). Used by permission.