While watching an old western one day, I heard a statement that has stayed on my mind.

In the movie, they were reading the will of a man who had just died. He made a peculiar statement. He said, “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.

I think many people become born again with unrealistic expectations. What I mean by that is this. We give our hearts to God and think things will never be hard again. We may 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 intend 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. If you want to hang with the big boys of faith, you are going to take some hits.

Think about someone 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? 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 some 275-pound man is coming after him to stop him if he can. So, what does he do? He learns to position himself. He learns where to curve 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.

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 NFL 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 in mind. You already have the victory. Jesus purchased it for you at the cross.

I love what Jesus says in John 16:33. He said, “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. We can be courageous, confident and undaunted. We can even be filled with joy during the hits. Why? Because our Savior has already overcome the world. The conquest is accomplished. His victory is abiding in us.

This is our hope and this is our expected end. Our expected end in God is filled with life and life more abundantly. 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 expect in God…and more.

“Recognize the plot of the enemy and the lies and stand in the face of them, declaring truth.”