I looked up the word Expectation and was surprised at the depth of the definition (I’m being a little sarcastic). The word Expectation means the act of expecting. Wow. Isn’t that deep. Then I looked at the word expect and it means “to look forward to; regard as likely to happen; anticipate the occurrence…..”
God’s Word is full of scripture that encourages us to expect.
In Mark 9:14-24 we see the story of a man who came to Jesus wanting his demon possessed son to be set free. He told Jesus “I brought him to your disciples so they could cast him out and they could not.” Jesus’ response was directed to those disciples. “O faithless generation….” Jesus wanted his disciples to face this situation with faith and expectation. They didn’t.
One of the biggest challenges in Christian leadership is getting people to believe that no matter what their circumstances are that they can/should be expectant about the future. If things are bad, they don’t necessarily have to stay that way.
I’ve often spoke of those who have what I call a Doris Day theology. I hate to blame Doris but she did sing the song, Whatever will be will be. The future’s not ours to see.” The fact is… it’s easier to live with that mentality than to believe and stretch for things. It’s easier to just have no anticipations, no desires, no belief that anything can be accomplished beyond where they are.
We see more in more in our western culture, able bodied men and women giving up or not ever trying at all to be anything. They are quite content to wait for someone else to give them everything they need. They would rather trust welfare that to step out in faith and accomplish something.
Our society has become so un-driven. Young men and women who should be in school preparing for the future or should be in the work force by now still living with parents, refusing to grow up. The problem is made much worse by parents who enable their lazy, un-undriven children by giving them what they need and requiring nothing of them.
Don’t think that the problem is age specific to young adults. It’s not.
There are more than enough scriptures and stories within those scriptures that teach us to reach beyond where we are. They are lessons for us. With all my heart I know that God wants us to have expectations in our life.
Mark 11:24 Jesus said, “whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” It takes expectation to pray. So many just don’t bother to pray.
Matthew 21:18-21 herein is the story of the fig tree cursed by Jesus. Jesus’ instructions were “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, “be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
Do you see how loaded verses 21 and 22 are?
- Assuredly, I say to you. Jesus was sure of what He was saying.
- If you have faith and do not doubt. You will do what was done to the fig tree, but ALSO if you say to this mountain, ‘be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done.
- And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.
I understand that there was repetition in the previous two paragraphs but that repetition is warranted. There is no expectation like speaking to the mountains of life and commanding them to move.
Luke 8:41-55 includes two separate story lines within the same text taking place at the exact same time. First is Jairus a ruler of the synagogue who had a daughter dying and knew that if Jesus would come to his house that his daughter would be healed. The second person is a women (no name given) who had an issue of blood. That means that she had female bleeding and it had been taking place for twelve years. This lady was expectant. She said to herself that she knew that if she could just touch Jesus’ clothes that she would be healed. Guess what. The story ends with both getting what they expected. Jairus’ daughter was actually raised from the dead and the woman was healed.
Isaiah 54:2-3 is a scripture about being expectant. It says, “Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left, And your descendants will inherit the nations, And make the desolate cities inhabited.”
The missionary William Carey preached form Isaiah 54 and said the message was two fold.
- Expect great things from God.
- Attempt great things for God.
In 1 Chronicles 4:10 Jabez prayed what some would characterize as a bold selfish prayer. I would say, it’s a prayer of expectation.
“And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, ‘Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, hand that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” so God granted him what he requested.”
So now I will leave you with one last scripture. One that i recommend that you commit to memory.
Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you gray and mighty things, which you do not know.”
What is it that you are believing God for in the days, weeks and months to come? Please click the comment button at the top of the page and leave your comment here.
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