You probably have a passion for certain sporting events and follow these events religiously. Suppose you were to watch a game with the prior knowledge that your team had won, would this knowledge affect how you watched the game?
A soccer fan was torn between watching his team play in a major event and his work. He could not miss reporting to work because that would mean disciplinary action or facing the sack and an uncertain future. On the other hand, he did not want to miss out on the game, he could not imagine his favourite team playing in his absence. To solve this dilemma, he requested a friend to record the game to enable him watch it later — a wise decision compared to risking his job.
As soon as he clocked off from work, he rushed home to watch the event. Before settling down to watch the game, his friend mentioned that his team had won.
How would that knowledge affect his watching of the game? What would be his reaction if his team performed poorly in the first half? Was he going to be nervous? Probably not as long as he trusted in the information imparted by his friend. He could rest in the knowledge that even if the team lost in the first half, they would go on to win the game before the final whistle was blown — his friend had said his team won.
Actually, rather than get nervous and uncomfortable, he would be sitting on the edge of his seat with the anticipation of the moment when his team would turn the table on the rivals and go on the offensive. It had to happen because his team had won the event!
Why would he be so confident? Because he was watching the game backward. He was watching it from a perspective of knowing the end, so everything he is watching now is being viewed in the knowledge that his best team has won and nothing can change that. The only thing he does not know yet is when and how his team will win.
The moment his friend had told him that his team had won, the anxiety he had experienced in the course of the day as he pondered about the possibility of his team losing was lifted. Now, he knew, it was a fact — this is the basis of Faith. If he already knew that his team had won but continued to worry whether they would win or not as he watched the rerun of the game, would you not consider that silly and stupid?
His level of trust that victory is guaranteed is determined by the trust he has in the credibility of his friend. If the source of the information about the performance of his team is credible, he is confident. But, if the information had been gathered from comments made by complete strangers, he would be less assured. In other words, he would only be confident of the outcome of the game only if his source could be trusted and was credible. The only thing that mattered was how well he listened to the source and the trust built over the years about his friend. Everything else depended on those two factors.
Having Faith is similar to watching the rerun of the soccer event. You watch the players run back and forth as they sweat and strain. There are many moments when players in your team make wrong moves and pay heavily for their mistakes. There are times when all seems lost, but all these happenings are irrelevant. You already know who will win when the referee blow the final whistle.
Faith is not just watching a rerun of a game with the prior knowledge or a positive attitude. Faith is not trying to ignore the losing moments or mustering confidence when things do not look promising. It is not about thinking and speaking positively in the face of certain defeat. Faith is not something you muster on your own from within. Instead, it is something you get from without.
True Faith is determined by what a person knows before the event takes place. If you do not have more information about an event compared to everyone around you as the event takes place, you will be anxious just like the rest of the people watching the unfolding events. True Faith has prior knowledge about the game before it unfolds. Faith consists of prior knowledge of victory before it occurs. And this is what gives you peace and assurance. You may know about the coming victory in detail or just have the assurance in your heart that you will win. Both ways, it communicates a knowledge of victory. That is what imparts Faith.
Romans 10:17 says “So Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ”.
The peace and victory you experience during an event is determined by hearing from God before the game begins. To have this knowledge beforehand, you must spend enough time listening to Him. The stronger the trust in the hearing,’ the less likely you will be influenced by the unfolding game.
Once you know the outcome, you own the outcome. And you are expected to retain and protect the ownership of that knowledge through patience until the miracle happens.
If you know God’s will in every aspect of your life, you would have peace in every area of your life. To get there, you have to hear from God and be able to watch the game of life with peace. The things received from God during the private briefing moments determine the victories manifested later in public.
Now, you might argue that life is not as simple as watching a game. In life you are not just watching a game unfolding, instead, you are participating in the game. You are the person straining, sweating, going back and forth and getting hit. And that is not all, there are loved ones participating in the game and they are getting hit. Some of them may be playing for the opposing team and that can really hurt. The good news is that God’s principles remain the same.
With God, winning is guaranteed.