1 John 5:1-6
The way faith conquers the world is not made manifest in the way the world attempts to conquer faith. Despite the apparent militancy of “Onward Christian Soldiers” the way of faith “is not by might nor by power but by my Spirit, says the Lord.” (Zechariah 4:6) That is why the victory of faith often appears as defeat. “We preach Christ crucified.” (1 Corinthians 1:23) But it is a “magnificent defeat” (Friederich Buechner) that the world cannot see or understand and which the world cannot ultimately overcome. “Were they to take our house, goods, fame, child or spouse; though life be wrenched away; they cannot win the day; the kingdom ours forever.” (Martin Luther) The faith that conquers the world is not a panacea for the pain and suffering experienced by one who is on the losing end of Luther’s list of things to be taken away. No. Faith is often pushed to the limit and indeed beyond. But though the blood lust of the wicked may hold the field today the final outcome has been predetermined and the faith that is tried in the here and now will triumph in the forever tomorrow.