“Crazy thing is, out of all life done taught me… Before you get one win you gotta take a thousand losses.”
– Rob Wave –
Matthew 6:13 – English Standard Version
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For those who are experts at card games, like poker, and other related games, they know that having a flush, full house, four-of-a-kind, straight, or royal flush in their hand is a sure win. These hands are the best of the best and can guarantee a victory at the card table. However, for me, who has no knowledge of card games outside of solitaire and the unfortunate victim of 52 Pick-Up, I am left at a loss. I would be guaranteed to lose or be completely lost in the game.
I am not a “Gamer,” and I don’t play card games or gamble. I’m not much of a video game player either. The main issue is that I’m not a fan of losing. If I’m not sure I’m going to win or get bragging rights from the activity, then I’m not likely to bother trying. I’d rather not risk my money or my time if I’m not sure of a victory. So, I stay away from any gaming activities that may involve a loss. Some people would refer to it as “pride.” For my part, I genuinely cannot stomach the idea of losing.
One of the emotions that losing has been known to bring out in me is hate and anger, which I have been working to give over to the Lord because I’m not proud of it. Guess some might refer to me as a bitter loser. On the contrary, I believe that I am the type of person that needs to know has the upper hand or a chance of winning before making the call.
Proverbs 24:16 – New Life Version
For a man who is right with God falls seven times, and rises again, but the sinful falls in time of trouble.
Gambling has been an addiction for many of us, and the Lottery is the one game we can’t seem to stay away from. From the news channels hyping up the large dollar win, to everyone talking about the plans they would make if they hit the numbers, to the lines of people playing and spending large sums of money – the lottery craze has been sweeping the nation. We put our hope and trust in the odds – 1 in 175,223,510 – that this time might be the time we win, that this week or this day might be the day we strike it rich. We keep playing even though the odds are slim, our hope never faltering. How many of us have fallen into the belief that maybe, one day, our time will come? We keep playing, hoping, believing, and trying our luck, never giving up our dreams of winning the grand prize.
C.S. Lewis quoted, “Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose.”
1 Timothy 6:9 – The New King James Version (NKJV)
But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.
It is clear that I have never visited Las Vegas. Sincerely, I have no idea what to do there besides drive around, take in the sights, dine, shop, and snap a few shots of the countryside (for those must-share Facebook postings). Then, I’d probably start to question if I can make the drive back home the same day. Sure, I’ll probably play the slots a few times while I’m there just because, well, “We’re in Vegas, Baby!” but it’s not something I really must do. The Gambler? not at much my style. I make an effort to value every dollar I receive. Once more, I only wager on a $2 Power-Ball, Mega- or Lotto quick-pick. I can survive with potentially losing $5 without it having a significant impact on my finances.
But Five years ago, I took a seat at The Gambler’s table. My life was on the line, and I had no idea who would end up winning. I was playing with God and Satan, and the stakes could not have been higher. It was a game of war with real-life consequences – I could lose my life or gain it. I had never gambled with such high stakes, but I knew that this was my only chance. I threw my life on the table and hoped for the best.
I had reached my breaking point; I was tired of the pain, the sorrows, the suffering, and the relentless cycle of my life. I had been dealt a bad hand and I kept playing the same game with no chance of winning. I was feeling defeated and desperate for a change, so I decided to become The Gambler and see if I could turn my luck around. I knew that if I placed a bigger bet, I could increase my chances of success, even though the odds were heavily stacked against me. I had to take a chance and risk it all to see if I could break this cycle and reclaim my life.
The game of cards had been going on for hours. In a stalemate, I, God, and the devil studied each other’s faces for any indication of what would happen next. We had all put our bets on the table and the chips were stacked high, giving this game an intense atmosphere. The air was thick with anticipation and the tension was palpable. We had been playing for hours, and none of us wanted to be the one to fold first. We kept playing, each of us trying to outwit the other two.
I stared down at my cards, taking in all the information they presented me. I was aware of where I was in the game, and where I had been, but the idea of me winning seemed unfathomable. The stakes were too high for me to take the chance of continuing on my own, and I knew that the chances of me winning were slim to none. I had come so far, but I knew that the end was not in sight for me. I had nothing left to give, and I knew that the game was already lost. I had no choice but to accept defeat and move on.
At this moment, I decided that I had to fold; as I threw my cards down, I felt a deep sense of defeat. The realization that I no longer had any moves or chips left to play this game of life hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt as if my life was over, or about to be, and I had nothing left to fight for. I was drained of hope and felt that I had no other choice but to give up. I had done all I could, and it was time to accept that I had lost this game.
I felt the pressure of the stakes, one wrong move could have cost me everything. The devil suddenly places a bet, and I instantly became the chips. Still at war was Jesus and Lucifer. Who would place the call? The wagers were large. Both the Lord and the evil one refused to submit.
Even though I was used to being the loser at the table, I still felt that way. But in this case, they both saw value in me. They kept raising the bar because they didn’t want to give up the chance to claim me as their own.
As they continued to concentrate and make their bets, I stared at them both and began to imagine my life with one or the other. Satan seemed particularly attractive to me, with his piercing eyes and a devilish smirk on his face. I thought of what life with him would be like – indulging in the world’s pleasures, living life on my own terms, never having to worry about outside judgement. I imagined all the nights spent in bars and nightclubs, drinking, and smoking away my worries, never having to worry about consequences. I thought of the adultery and idolatry I would engage in, the pornography I would watch, and the lies I could tell without consequence. It was a life of vice and freedom, but ultimately one that would take me away from my true purpose in life.
In contrast, if I choose Jesus, I will attend church, pray, read the Bible, and perhaps have the opportunity to enter Heaven. There is, indeed, a guarantee of success, righteousness, and redemption. Additionally, there is no longer any pain, as well as eternal life, tranquility, and rest, but such things take place after our deaths. What about the present day? When tomorrow arrives, we can worry about tomorrow, but for now, we must worry about today. Who will bestow upon us the qualities of love, joy, peace, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? Who or what will enable me to escape this life of uncertainty and depression, this life of eking out an existence among constant anguish and suffering? Is there a promise of happiness? Of no more deaths, sickness, heartache, pain and heartbreak?
We often hear stories of the struggles, the hard times, and the challenges that come with being a Christian. They are referred to as the “Good trials,” as they test our faith and trust in God. When you are genuinely defeated and can only rely on Him for strength to continue, you have the highest faith that He, as God, will help you get through it. He will be our guide and our strength, so we can have faith and trust in Him and His plans for us.
Psalm 71:20 – Christian Standard Bible
You caused me to experience many troubles and misfortunes, but you will receive me again.
If you are not in a relationship with God, you may feel overwhelmed by life’s trials. You may feel broken, torn apart, and lost in the world. Without the hope and security of a relationship with the Heavenly Father, it can seem like life’s challenges are too much to bear. You may feel like you can’t keep up and that the trials will never end.
“Without God, you cannot overcome the temptations of evil,
the struggles of life, and the hardships.”
The truth is that I didn’t feel like I needed any more anxieties, fears, panic attacks, trials, or hardships at this time. Satan appears to have the upper hand because he already had so much of what I liked and offered what I was reluctant to give up, and he isn’t making my life any heavier. I’ll continue to go about my daily business as usual, as I have been doing all along, as though nothing ever altered.
But wait, this is the reason I became The Gambler and placed my life on the line: I needed and wanted a change. This “Normal Life” was no longer a possibility for me. I was sacrificing myself to either God or Satan in order to flee and end my life. Because I was being destroyed by this life of drinking, lying, stealing, viewing filth, cheating, obsession with girls, idolatry, and depression. These were the things I considered necessities, the things I thought I couldn’t live without, everything that only brought me more issues and hurtful interactions with others. This had to stop. The cycle of despair and the pain I was going through had to come to an end, or it was going to end me. I knew it was time to make a change and I had to take a risk if I was ever going to break out of the norm. This is why I am here; this is why I have become a pawn. Is pawn even a card term? Probably not, but it sounds good, so we are going to go with it and keep it for now. It was a risky move, but it is one that I am willing to take. I knew in my heart that I had to do something drastic if I wanted to make a difference and that is why I am here today.
Psalm 107:4 – Amplified Bible
They wandered in the wilderness in a desert region, and did not find a way to an inhabited city.
As God gathered His people, some came from the wilderness, but He guided them towards the Promised Land.
After God has already delivered us, why do we still fall back into the old ways, time after time, knowing they lead to destruction?
God is always by our side, loving us and supporting us through the dark times. His love for us is everlasting, and He is always willing to deliver us from our darkness if we simply ask. But why do so many of us remain afraid to ask Him to give us another hit, so that we can remain in this game?
We are back at the card table, Jesus is All-In. He places all His chips forward, calling the devil’s bluff. Satan looks over at me, eyes narrowed, as if he is trying to decide whether he should risk it and take the bet. He knows that if he loses, he will not only be beaten by Jesus, but he will also lose the chance to win my soul. His expression changes slightly as he realizes that the stakes are higher than he originally thought. The tension in the air is perceivable as we all wait to see what he will do.
“Lucifer, you have nothing!” the Lord yells at him in a strong, yet resoundingly confident voice. “You are aware that you will lose!”
Satan, with his air of smug arrogance, pushed all his chips onto the table and challenged Jesus into his game. The Lord did not flinch or show any sign of fear. He didn’t even look down at the devil’s hand, maintaining eye contact with Lucifer as if He was already aware of what was in his hands. I couldn’t help but peer at Lucifer’s cards out of curiosity, and I soon discovered he had nothing; he cracked.
I must remind you that I was unaware of the card game that was being played. Nevertheless, I was confident that my hand was superior to Satan’s and that I would be able to defeat him. In fact, he was so misguided that he believed he had a chance of besting the Lord.
Let us not forget that the devil is a liar! He is conniving and misleading, and his tactics and tricks can be extremely convincing. But we must remember that God is the true source of all good things and that He will not promise us something He is not willing to give. He is the Heavenly Father, and He is full of grace, mercy, and unconditional love. He will always provide us with what we need, and He will do so in abundance. Not only that, but He will also give us wisdom, guidance, and strength to walk in His truth. In the end, He is the only one who can truly deliver us from evil. It is not within His power to bring you hope and leave you with disappointment. He is a loving God, and His plan is to bring joy and peace to those who follow Him.
Ezekiel 33:11 – New International Version
Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel!’
Jesus then said, “Lock!” as He laid His cards down on the table. As He was doing this, I couldn’t help but notice the marks on His hands from the nails that were used to nail Him to that “Old Rugged Cross.” He took those nails for me, and here He was again, laying down His life for me. He was fully aware that His hands would be marked with holes from the nails, yet He did it anyway for my salvation, for our salvation. I was filled with awe and admiration for His selflessness and courage. His actions spoke louder than words, showing me just how much He loves me.
We are so easily swayed by our own selfish desires that we often forget about God and turn away from Him. We constantly strive for more, always wanting to have it our way, and when God does not answer us or does not answer us right away, we think He doesn’t care, that He is ashamed of us, or isn’t listening. However, this is the furthest thing from the truth and is simply the devil’s lie to deceive us. God loves us and is always there for us, even when it seems like He isn’t. He is faithful and just, and our faith in Him should remain unwavering.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – New International Version
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Dear loved ones, let us remember that God is not only our provider, but He is also our protector. He knows our innermost thoughts and desires. He knows we are all imperfect, and that is why He is here to help us. He knows what we want and what we need, and this is why sometimes He doesn’t give us what we want—because what we need is to be better people.
It is in times of difficulty that we need to turn to God the most. When we are struggling to love, to forgive, and to do what is right, He is always there to help us. We can take comfort in knowing that no matter what, He will never leave us. His ultimate act of love was demonstrated through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. What more proof of love do we need than that? His love is unconditional and everlasting, and He desires that we love Him in return. Through Him, we can find strength, hope, and courage to do the impossible. May we always strive to love, repent, forgive, and help those in need, knowing that God will never abandon us.
He has already laid His chips on the table – His Son on the Cross. What more proof of love could one need than this? The ultimate sacrifice of a beloved Son shows the depth of God’s love. He didn’t just say the words, He acted on them. He demonstrated His love for us in the most powerful way possible. He showed us that nothing was too precious for Him to give up for us. He gave us a perfect example of pure selfless love. He showed us that His love for us was unconditional and immeasurable. His Son on the Cross is an everlasting reminder of His great love for us and that no matter what, He will always be there for us.
John 3:16 – New International Version
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Jesus put his cards down and revealed a Royal Flush in his hands. I couldn’t help but think of the song ‘The Devil Went Down To Georgia’ by the Charlie Daniels Band. The lyrics in the song that really stand out to me are “Devil, come on back if you ever want to try again, because I told you once, you son of a (Let’s just say gun), I’m the Best there has ever been!”
Revelation 1:8 – English Standard Version
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “Who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Even if the Lord had a pair of anything on His cards, He would still be able to prevail against Satan. The Lord is a powerful and mighty God and He will never give anything less than His Ultimate Best when it comes to fighting for us. He does not fight in a simple or mediocre manner. God fights in a way that makes Satan muck and tremble and back down in fear. When we have the Holy Spirit living within us, we can be sure that God will fight for us in a powerful way. He will be our protector and shield, always providing us with the strength and courage we need to stand firm against the devil.
Do you want to put fear in the evil one? Then mention the Name above all Names, the Name of Jesus Christ. When you mention the Name, Yeshua, Jehovah, JHWH, Emmanuel, Messiah, The Lamb of God, and Christ, you will put the utmost fear in him. For the Name of Jesus Christ is more powerful than any other name, and the knowledge of His Name can move mountains. He is the Lord of lords and the King of kings, and He is our Savior. When you call upon His Name, the evil one will be filled with fear and dread. So don’t hesitate to mention the Name of Jesus Christ and stand firm in faith. He is Lord, and He will protect us all.
Genesis 28:15 – English Standard Version
Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.
God is a loving and compassionate being, and He will always give us more than we can ever imagine or handle. His love is of the highest form, and it is called “Agape Love”. Agape love is unconditional; it is not something that can be earned or bought. It is a love that is freely given, and it is not dependent on our actions, our feelings, or our circumstances. God’s love for us is unconditional and everlasting, and it is something that will never change. With this kind of love, we can rest assured knowing that God will always be there for us, no matter the situation. He will always support us, comfort us, and encourage us. God’s love for us is truly remarkable and it is something that we can always count on.
We all know the parable of the Lost Sheep.
Luke 15:4-7 – New International Version
4- “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5- And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6- and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7- I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
I am so blessed to be a part of God’s plan. What once seemed like a losing hand, turned out to be a winning one. I had been a person of darkness, a sinner, but through the grace of Christ, I was saved from a life of damnation and provided with a new purpose and a new life. I no longer felt the need for the things of this world, and I was able to live a life of righteousness. I am so thankful for the opportunity to experience a New Creation in Christ. He has provided me with the opportunity to live a life of purpose and love. I am no longer a “Bee Stinger,” but instead, a winner living in the light of God’s love.
Ephesians 6:12 – King James Version
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
It was a hard-fought battle, but in the end, I emerged victorious even against all odds. Jesus Christ was the one who made this possible, and I am forever grateful to Him for His unwavering faith in me. With Him in my corner, I can face any challenge and come out on top. I had to get behind Christ, submit myself, and trust in His power, and when I did, I was rewarded with a beautiful victory.
I needed to fold so that I could win.
God, the devil and myself had been in a battle of wits and skill, and when it was all said and done, it was a game none of us were soon to forget.
Loved ones, listen. I used the term of cards to elaborate on this testimony; but the truth is, this fight with the devil is not a game. He is the embodiment of evil and a master of manipulation. He will try to fill your heads with fear, worries, doubt, and even make you believe that God does not care for you. Satan is the master of lies and deceit, and it is vital that we all be aware of this.
It’s an uphill battle against the devil, and it’s not one we can take lightly. We must recognize and reject the lies he spreads and take comfort in the fact that God is with us. We must stay strong in our faith and remember that God’s love will never fail us.
Let this serve as a reminder that we cannot let the devil win. We must fight against his lies and seek solace in the Lord. Let us remember that the devil is a master of deception, and that we must remain vigilant in the face of his attempts to deceive us.
2 Corinthians 10: 3-6: – New International Version
3- For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4- The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5- We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6- And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.
When you feel like you have reached the end of your rope, fear no more; turn to God. Let Him be your guide and your protector. He will take what you consider to be a losing hand and turn it into something that will make you victorious. Don’t gamble away your life and make a risky bet; God chose you, loves you, and will never let you lose. He will always be there to provide comfort, guidance, and support. Believe in God and let Him show you the way to His Winning Table. He will make sure that you never have to experience failure or defeat. Trust in Him and know that He will never let you down.
You Are Loved
Willie Torres Jr.
Hello Brothers and Sisters in Christ. My name is William Torres (My family and friends call me Willie).
I am a New Christian or as I like to say, “A Toddler Christian,’ being saved as of 2017.
From a very young age, my family always told me that I had a calling. I got involved with the church in my early teen years and served as a Altar Boy at my church, was a Youth Group Leader, and even a member of a Trio music group (Church Group), which we would perform in Church Youth Rallies.
Their was definitely a calling. What I was missing throughout all this was a relationship with Jesus Christ. I was serving and loving the church and those around me, but not serving and loving the Lord.
It wasn’t until depression, isolation and suicidal thoughts that the Lord, finally said, “Okay, Willie, are you done? Let me In, Take a hold of my Hand,” and that was 2017, and I have been walking, skipping, singing and dancing with the Lord ever since.
I started to write stories which I believe were led by the Holy Spirit; many of which are testimonies and different trials I have endured and how the Lord has gotten me through them and to overcome them.
I enjoy encouraging others in the Lord Jesus Christ through my writings, and I can only pray that those who read them, will be Blessed by Gods Words.
I am nowhere near perfect but I Worship a God who is.
I have a long way to go and so much yet to learn, but one thing is for certain, I Am Not Alone, and as hard as this was to accept and Believe, I thank God for creating in me a clean heart.
I thank Truth Hunters and Lyn Leahz for the opportunity to allow me to share my writings with you all and as we say in Our Facebook Ministry, I Hope to Grow In Christ Together With You.
You Are Loved
Willie Torres Jr.