For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” (1 John 5:4, ESV)

Here is a most curious fact:  God, who could if he so desired, with a word overcome sin and Satan and the world and all that opposes him, has chosen to use something completely different to overcome the world–our faith.

Here’s the thing, if I were God, I would not work this way.  “Our faith” is a formula more often for defeat, then for victory.  It wavers when it is most needed, it is easily distracted by gigantic waves around it, rather than keeping its eyes on Jesus. It questions rather than trusts, it fails Jesus again and again.  And yet…

It is what God uses to overcome all of the forces of darkness for some strange, inscrutable reason.

John Calvin points out: “This passage is remarkable for though Satan continually repeats his dreadful and horrible onsets, yet the Spirit of God, declaring that we are beyond the reach of danger, removes fear, and animates us to fight with courage.”

He goes on to say: “It is, indeed, true, that our warfare continues through life, that our conflicts are daily, nay, that new and various battles are every moment on every side stirred up against us by the enemy; but as God does not arm us only for one day, and as faith is not that of one day, but is the perpetual work of the Holy Spirit, we are already partakers of victory, as though we had already conquered.”