1 Corinthians 15:57
“But thanks be to God who gives us the VICTORY through our Lord Jesus Christ”
- Winners are thankful!
This verse begins with giving thanks. Thanks to God for the victory- the win! People who are thankful are winners. People who are not thankful are ungrateful. All of us know some teenagers who are spoiled and ungrateful. About a month ago as school was about to begin, there were some wild scenes in the mall as parents were looking to get their children new school shoes. I saw kids getting mad at their moms or dads because they couldn’t get the $275 Nike Lebrons. Their parents were willing to buy them some shoes that were only $100, but the kids were so ungrateful (not thankful) that they responded with getting upset. They were ungrateful. Winners are thankful!
I like to pay close attention to post-game interviews. I am curious to see how the winners talk and how the losers talk. Winners are those that thank their coaches and teammates. Very rarely will you ever hear a loser give thanks. When Kevin Durant won the NBA MVP award at the end of the 2014 season, he thanked his mom for everything in a famous speech in which he said “Mom, you the real MVP!” Winners are thankful.
In this verse, Paul is thankful that he has the victory. He is a winner because God has given him the victory through Jesus. Winning at life cannot be earned. Winning in life is a gift from God. That is reason to be thankful!
- Winners are aware of losing!
You cannot have a winner without a loser. Winners know this! If everyone on both teams gets the same trophy, then there is nothing special or significant or rewarding about the trophy. Recently pro football player James Harrison made headlines trying to teach this to his sons. Why did he do this? Because he wants them to be winners!
When I was a teenager, I had the Michael Jordan poster in my room that said “I have failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Winners are aware of losing. I am not saying that all winners are losers at some point. But I am saying that at least, they are familiar with losing.
People do not like to say it, but it is possible to lose at life. Some people are losing at life! Some people are losers. The wages of sin is death. The devil comes to kill and destroy us. And sadly, many lose. We need to be aware of losing. Winners are those who know what losing looks like. They are aware of losing, and therefore they are winners!
- Winners know how they get the victory!
Winners know how to get it. They know what it takes. You cannot just go through the motions and up winning. The winning team is the one who knew how to win. They had to be better than the opponent. They had to score more points. They had to keep the opponent from scoring more points. They had to have a strategy. They had to execute the game-plan. Winners know what it takes to win! I enjoy watching tennis on TV, and I especially like watching the finals of majors. Whenever the championship match is finished, tennis does something that no other sport does. They ask each player to give a speech there on the court. It is fascinating to watch! The runner-up (the loser) has to give a speech. And then the champion (the winner) has to give a speech as well. But you can tell a lot about the competitors when they talk. They are often very gracious toward their opponent. And they always speak about how tough the match was, and what it took to get the win! This is true! Winners know all that goes into becoming a winner!
In this verse, Paul tells us how we get the win in life. It is through Jesus Christ. There is no victory in life apart from Him. There is salvation found in no one else. Jesus is the only one who died for our sins. Jesus is the only one who can bring us to God. God forgives sinners, and He does it through Jesus. And if you are forgiven through Jesus, then you have the victory. You are a winner!
3 Characteristics of winners: They are thankful! They are aware of losing! And they know how to get the victory!