Actually, Past Performance *Is* Indicative of Future Success

Future past sign postYears ago I worked in a financial brokerage. In particular I worked in compliance. We were very meticulous about ensuring that we said and did everything right. One phrase I remember seeing regularly is, “Past performance is not indicative of future results.” In other words, just because a fund or company has done well in the past does not mean that it will do well in the future. Typically this is appended to data that demonstrates solid past performance.

In the Christian world however, this phrase is turned on its head. It is in fact very much non-compliant with the Scripture.

What the writers of Scripture tend to do is unload piles of data upon us to show us that this God who has worked powerfully in the past will in fact do so in the future.

Just this morning I was reading the 77th Psalm in my devotions and I saw this same tactic. The Psalmist is, in the present, crying aloud to the Lord (v.1). He is feeling the pinch. Things are hard.

So what does he do? In both verses 5 & 11 we see him looking at the historical data for present comfort (Ps. 77.5, 11).

This is a tremendous counseler for you. We tend to look at circumstances and project them onto God’s character. This is dangerous. Instead we should look at God’s character and project that upon the circumstances.

When things appear, feel, and are difficult we remember that God is a powerful, good and faithful God. He has proven this every single day of history. When we feel cut off and alone, we remember that God is compassionate, sympathetic and near to his people.

In the 77th Psalm the author looks back to the Exodus and the time in the wilderness. He remembers God’s faithfulness to his people, his redemptive faithfulness.

We are instructed to the do the same. Only we don’t look back to the types and shadows but to the substance.

The Apostle Paul picks up on this:

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Rom. 8.32)

Isn’t that a loud sermon to be heard in any and every circumstance?

God is saying that he has already proven himself faithful. He is for you in Christ! He has given the one who is most valuable to and for you. Therefore, he is able, willing, and sure to care for you in this present trial.

In other words, look back to the past performance of the cross. Ruminate over all of its various and multi-faceted implications. Chew and delight in its truth. And when you begin to taste the sweetness of the grace of God, then savor it. That is, live in light of its glorious truth.