We are now beginning and facing a new year. You may recall last year this time, some of us, if not all of us, were entertaining some anxiety not knowing what the New Year will bring. As practicing Christians, we intended to face the New Year as a Christian with faith and the assurance that God will watch over us during this incoming New Year. But here comes the “real rub”, so to speak, we soon discovered, after the “watch-care hour” had soon come and gone, some of us still have some unresolved anxiety and concerns about what will happen to us in the New Year.
Some of us have discovered, being honest within ourselves, we still have some “dark spots” of faith about the this new year, which causes us not to be able to see with assurance what the new year will hold. Yet, some knew that they still must act like a strong Christian facing the future, otherwise they will be seen as being false with their faith.
Today there are many Christians who faithfully attend church, but still have yet to attain the level of faith which can sustain them in times of serious trials and tribulations. This lack of faith is readily seen in times of loss, whether it be property loss or a love one. And when such issues happen to us, we allow our hurt and anxiety to smother out our faith. And somehow many Christians will feel as if God has abandoned them. Or yet, is punishing them in some way for something they think they may have done. God never punishes His children, He only chastises them out of tough love (Heb 12:5-11). God has picked only one day to judge and punish those who hate Him, and that is on the great Day of Judgement (2Pet 2:9).
Given the lack of an unwavering faith to face the New Year, many Christians have created a substitute kind of faith, which goes under the name of “wait-and-see”. Yes, there are some Christians who have a wait-and-see kind of faith. They wait and see what God will do in times of their crisis, trials and tribulations. They wait and see what life will bring to them and at the same time hoping that God will favor them while in the middle of crisis. This is the opposite of the kind of faith that we should have. The writer tells us in Hebrew 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This means, if we, as practicing Christians are convinced that God is going to take care of us, regardless of unpleasant circumstances, we are at peace within ourselves and are assured that God will make a way for us. We will have the victory in the issue. Therefore, you have no doubt that the Lord will show up on our behalf. In this case, we wait, not in doubt, but in expectation of being delivered in a timely way. You do not wait and see “if” God will do something to deliver you out of trouble, you know He will.
There are two kinds of “grace” - saving grace and disgrace. It is a disgrace to the work of the Holy Spirit to attend church Sunday after Sunday and not come to a saving grace which helps us build up an unwavering faith in God. Thus there will be no need for any of God’s children to have a “wait-and-see” kind of faith.
Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6). If anyone is seeking God’s help or expecting any help from Him with a half hope and a wavering faith will receive nothing from God (James1:6-8). This means that the wait-and-see kind of faith will not do, and is not good enough. The wait-and-see kind of faith is a disgrace against the working of the Holy Spirit. Why would anyone want to waste their time coming to church, and study scriptures if one cannot achieve a faith filled with blessed assurance?
Elisabeth Cheney in her poem “I Should Really Like to Know” said the robin to the Sparrow: “I should really like to know, Why these anxious human beings, Rush about and worry”.....Said the Sparrow to the Robin: “Friend, I think that it must be That they have no heavenly Father, Such as cares for you and me!”
The name of this spiritual game is to have “Faith”. That is to have it in its purest sense, without a shred of doubt.
We can’t all play the winning game,
Someone is sure to lose,
But we can all play so that our name
No one may dare accuse
For when the Master Referee
Scores against our name,
It won’t be whether we’ve won or lost
But how we played the game.
The next time we repeat the 23rd Psalm, it will be a spiritual disgrace if we did not believe in God’s sovereign care. Otherwise, our hope hangs onto a thin thread and we are practicing a wait -and-see faith.