When my husband coached our son’s Little League baseball team, he rewarded the players with an end-of-year party and acknowledged their improvement over the season. One of our youngest players, Dustin, approached me during the event. “Didn’t we lose the game today?”

“Yes,” I said. “But we’re proud of you for doing your best.”

“I know,” he said. “But we lost. Right?”

I nodded.

“Then why do I feel like a winner?” Dustin asked.

Smiling, I said, “Because you are a winner.”

Dustin had thought that losing a game meant he was a failure even when he’d done his best. As believers in Jesus, our battle is not confined to a sports field. Still, it’s often tempting to view a tough season of life as a reflection of our worth.

The apostle Paul affirms the connection between our present suffering and our future glory as God’s children. Having given Himself for us, Jesus continues to work on our behalf during our ongoing battle with sin and transforms us to His likeness (Romans 8:31–32). Though we’ll all experience hardship and persecution, the Lord’s unwavering love helps us persevere (vv. 33–34).

As God’s children, we may be tempted to allow struggles to define our worth. However, our ultimate victory is guaranteed. We may stumble along the way, but we will always be more than conquerors in Christ (vv. 35–39).