While watching an old western one day, I heard a statement that impacted my thoughts. In the movie, they were reading the last will and testament of a man who had just died. He made a profound statement in his will. He said, “my end was not what I hoped, but it was what I expected.”
This is a sad, yet profound statement.
As I thought of this today, I began to think about our expectations in God.
I think many people become born again with unrealistic expectations. We give our hearts to God and think things will suddenly become easy. We may even think it is going to 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, that is not the way it is.
He has trained for this time. He knows there will be hits. He knows at some point, 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 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.
Tighten your chinstrap. Position yourself for the hits. They will surely come. But keep 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. We are seeing them come this year on a daily basis. 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!
I don’t know what your hope and expectation is after this turmoil passes, but I know what mine is. I believe we will see the hand of God move on our behalf. I am fully persuaded there is victory on the other side. I stand firm on the truth that we will see the goodness of God in the land of the living. How can I be convinced? Because the Victor lives inside of me. And you. He will not fail us.
Our hope and our expectation is found in God alone.
May we live the lives we hope for. May we expect the life God says is ours. May we see that hope and our expectation manifest before our eyes, as we remain hidden in Him.
Meditate on this:
Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off. Proverbs 23:18