While watching an old Western one day, I heard a statement that impacted my thoughts.

In the movie, they read the last will and testament of a man who had just died. He made a profound statement in his will: ” My end was not what I hoped, but it was what I expected.”

I think that is so sad. I am thankful that my hope and my expectation is in God.

As I thought of this today, I began to think about our expectations in God.

Many people who become born again have unrealistic expectations. We give our hearts to God and think things will suddenly become easy. We may think it will be sunshine and roses from here on out.

If your goal is to sit on the pew each Sunday without giving the enemy any trouble, perhaps it will be like that. If your only reason for being saved is to make it to heaven, things may go easier for you.

However, if you are determined to lay hold of all God has for you, it will not be an easy walk.

Matthew 7:14 in the New Living Translation says, But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

If you want to enjoy the life Jesus died to give you, just as this scripture says, it will be difficult. It may even be a narrow squeeze. If you want to hang with the big boys of faith, you are going to take some hits.

Think about the rookie who just entered the NFL. I can’t imagine he starts his career believing it is going to be easy. I can’t imagine he thinks he will never take a hit. Can you imagine a running back, running down the field, thinking he has a clear path with nothing to hinder him from reaching his goal? Suddenly out of nowhere, he gets hit. The lights go out. He wonders what happened? No, it’s not like that at all.

He has trained for this time. He knows there will be hits. He knows at some point that a 275-pound man is coming after him with all he has, and his purpose will be to stop him from reaching his destination. So, what does he do? He learns to position himself. He learns where to run and when to move. He knows when a linebacker is coming. He can sense it. He positions himself for victory. He takes the hit and keeps moving. Unhurt and unhindered.

Isaiah 43 says, But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;

We have a promise! Not that life will be easy. But that we will have the victory. We are not promised there will be no hits. But we are promised that no weapon formed against us will prosper. (Isaiah 54:17)

Do you want to play in the big leagues of the Kingdom of God? Do you want to be a man or woman of God who makes an impact? Do you want to draw so close to God that His presence permeates your life? If so, you are going to take some hits.

Fasten your chinstrap. Position yourself for the hits. They will surely come. But keep it in mind. You already have the victory. Jesus purchased it for you at the cross.

I love what Jesus said in John 16:33. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous, be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy; I have overcome the world. My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding. (Amplified)

Friends, this is what we can expect. Yes, we can expect hits, they will come. But that is not the end of the story. If we remain courageous, confident and undaunted, we will experience abiding victory. We can even be filled with joy during the hits. How? Through Christ. Because our Savior has already overcome for us, which makes us more than conquerors. The victory is here, and it is dwelling in us!

Our hope and our expectation is in God alone.

Our expected end in God is having lived a life of abiding abundance, divine health and peace, just as Jesus promised. Our expected end is filled with joy!

Jeremiah 29:11 says, For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. May each of our lives be everything we hope for and expect in God…and more. May we see our hope and our expectation manifest before our eyes…as we remain hidden in Him.

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