As an avid rugby fan, I’ve been following the Rugby World Cup, and it’s been great this year. While the usual top teams have been doing well as expected, Japan, in particular, has been nothing short of impressive.

In the rough-and-tumble game of rugby, size tends to matter a lot—so Asian teams, with their smaller-sized players, traditionally do not fare well. Japan, a second-tier team, has lost most of the matches it played in past World Cups. So it must have been really difficult for them to come up against some top-tier teams with bigger-sized players.

Yet the “Brave Blossoms”, as Japan’s team is aptly nicknamed, has been racking up shock wins in this World Cup. It has beaten rugby giants Scotland, Ireland and Samoa in the Pool stages, and is headed for the quarter-finals for the first time-the first Asian team ever to do that.

What’s their secret? I personally believe that the Blossoms’ victories are due to their attitude and approach. Despite having lost many matches in the past, they have not let those losses discourage them and given up, but have come back fighting. And I think it’s because they believe they can win.

It makes me wonder if we can do the same. Not in rugby, but in our struggles in life.

Our battle against sin, for example, is filled with many losses. Whether we’re trying to overcome an addiction, sinful habits and desires, or temptations, it’s likely that we have failed many times. We might wonder: How can we ever win the fight against sin? The battle often seems like a lost cause; like a small-sized rugby player facing a muscled champion, it looks like we will never win.

So, what are we to do?

Japan’s determination is an inspiration never to give up. Even if we keep losing the battle, again and again, we can rise up, come back, and fight again. We need to believe that we can succeed eventually, with God’s help. Hebrews 12:1–2 urges us to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith”.

What’s assuring is that our God, is both holy and loving, is always ready to forgive us and help us overcome sin. 1 John 1:9 tells us: “If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Are you feeling discouraged by past failures? Don’t give up! God will lift you up and help you overcome.

1 Corinthians 10:13 assures us: “God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

Sin is a tough opponent. But we can persevere and endure, and God will strengthen us in our battle. We can win!

 

Lord, You know how much I struggle against sin.
Help me to presevere and not to give up,
for You have assured me that
You will help me overcome.

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