When John James took the stage following his U.S. Senate loss in Michigan, he presented it as not as a sign of complete disappointment, but as a new chapter in his life. James is not looking for someone or something to blame for losing the election. Instead, he spoke to his supporters about what they already have achieved and what building blocks they have constructed for the future of Michigan and the U.S. Here are several key takeaways that he laid out in his concession speech on election night.

First, John saw his campaign not as a guaranteed path to victory, but as a challenge from God to step out in faith and obedience and take a stand for others. As the results were turning in favor of his opponent Debbie Stabenow, John was already looking at the accomplishments made throughout his run. “We won tonight…because we were tested. We were tested and rose to the occasion and the Lord asked us to step out of the boat. And we stepped out of the boat. And we said, Lord if you call me, I will come. And that’s what we did.”  

Second, John talked about the importance of keeping loved ones close and encouraging his supporters to keep fighting for the institution of the family. His wife Elizabeth and his two sons joined him on stage to promote the welfare and institution of families across Michigan. “This is what sustains me and kept me going. This is why we’re not done. Because too many families out there don’t have the ability to live the lives we do…We still need to look out for our families. We still need to break the shackles of dependency that keep so many bolted to their situations right now. We still need to make sure we’re doing things the right way.”

With a spirit of humility and joy, John spoke of serving God through taking action not centered on temporary benefits, but for the eternal rewards in God’s kingdom. “A passion for service doesn’t end with a poll, it doesn’t end with a vote, it ends in the grave… My priority is making investments in things that no one can take away from you. Because our reward is in heaven. And we recognize that we have to love everyone, and work with anyone to serve everyone.” He further stated that “anybody can give glory to God when the times are good, but you know we’re still supposed to glorify Him in defeat.”

No matter what the outcome, John understood that God’s plans reach beyond the current moment: “He has a bigger plan than what we can understand. And I’ll tell you what, His plan is perfect. And we’re not done. And He’s not done. And you shouldn’t be done.” After thanking his supporters, John promised that “I’m not going anywhere. This is just the beginning … we have the ability to not just elect our leaders but to be our leaders.”

As John’s speech suggests, Christians should not only worship God in victory, but also worship Him in times of defeat. John understands that he has the ability to help serve and raise up those who have little. He knows that his political career is not defined by just one election. He’s using what he has learned and accomplished during his Senate run to prepare for bigger plans that God may have in store.

Watch John James’ full concession speech.