Over the weekend, we commemorated the World War II D-Day invasion of Normandy, France on June 6, 1944, exactly seventy years ago. On that fateful day, the Allied Forces went against a formidable foe in Nazi Germany. More than 9,000 Allied soldiers were killed or wounded in that epic battle. It must have appeared as though Nazi Germany was gaining the upper hand in the battle, but that wasn’t the case. Adolf Hitler’s troops were defeated. France, and then all of continental Europe, would be freed from the clutches of Nazi Germany.
We live in a day when evil dominates the news. If you did not know any better, you would think that the forces of evil were gaining the upper hand, but they are doomed to fail. How can we be so sure? We can because the Bible has given us a sneak preview of the final scene, and we know that victory is ours.
The situation can be likened to your watching a video-tape of your favorite team in a game of basketball, baseball, football, or soccer. You may fret as you see the opposing team surge ahead, whereas your team had won the game. While we normally do not want anyone to ‘spoil’ the anticipation for us, what if someone had already told you the final score before you watched the video-tape? Your fret level would be reduced to zero.
In a similar way, we must lead the Christian life with the knowledge that the Bible has already told us the outcome of the war between good and evil. Our Lord, who sees from before the foundation of the world to eternity all at the same time, has told us, “These things I have spoken to you that in Me you might have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, NKJV). The nineteenth-century songwriter, Maltbie D. Babcock, did remind us: “This is my Father’s world. O Let me ne’er forget That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet. This is my Father’s world. The battle is not done. Jesus who died must be satisfied, And earth and heaven be one.” Now, if only you and I would remember that on a daily basis, even on a moment-by-moment basis!
We are on the winning team. So, how are we to respond? Each of us should play the game of life like someone who is going into the final round of a competition knowing that he has amassed so many points that he has a wide enough margin between himself and the second person to ensure that no one can overtake him in the race for the gold medal. In such a case, how would you perform? Would you perform nonchalantly, or would you perform with full gusto? It makes every sense in the world for us to perform with full gusto. While playing any game, it is liberating and empowering to know that you are on the winning team. Let us perform accordingly.