Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Week Eighteen - Expect


“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
 Jeremiah 29:11

Strong’s defines expect as hope or a thing longed for.  It has the idea of something that is waited patiently for or anticipated and looked for.

Matthew Henry says, “His thoughts are all working towards the expected end, which he will give in due time.  Let them have patience till the fruit is ripe, and then they shall have it.  When things are at the worst they will begin to mend; and he will give them to see the glorious perfection of their deliverance.”

I take great comfort in the promise of this verse.  I also joy in the fact that God’s thoughts toward me are so very different from the thoughts I have toward myself.  I am self-condemning.  I think thoughts of defeat and inadequacy, but not my Lord!  He thinks good of me.  I might have only one redeeming quality, but God capitalizes on that.

Jeremiah Burroughs wrote, “…how graciously God deals with us!  If there is but one good word among a great many ill, what an interpretation God makes!  So should we do, if there is only one good interpretation that we can make of a thing we should rather make use of the good one than the bad…retain good thoughts of God, take heed of judging God to be a hard master, make good interpretations of his ways, and that is a special means to help you to contentment in all one’s course.”

Not only does God think good of us, He has our personal fulfilment in mind as he promises to give us what we have patiently waited for: an expected end, an ending of peace with the knowledge that we have had a full life and the assurance of an eternity with Him as our salvation is completed.

What about you?  Can you believe and live within this promise?  Can you accept that God thinks good of you?  Can you find thankfulness and rejoicing in this fact?  He expects you to!


“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.”  Hebrews 10:12, 13

This is the very same definition and idea.  Christ paid the penalty of our sin upon the cross.  The job is eternally complete.  And he is now sitting at the right hand of God waiting patiently until his expectation is completed, that being, the submission of his enemies.  And he will not be disappointed.

Matthew Henry expounds, “One would think such a person as Christ could have no enemies except in hell; but it is certain that he has enemies on earth.  Let not Christians then wonder that they have enemies.  But Christ’s enemies shall be made his footstool; this he is expecting.  When his enemies shall be subdued, their enemies shall be subdued also.”

Revelation 13:10 and 14:12 both explain that the end of the enemy is connected with the patience of the saints.  We have only to wait.  We can expect that Christ’s enemy and ours will be defeated. God’s Word has promised so throughout history.  Our expectations will be met by an Almighty and Just God.

Did you notice that the verse shows Christ in a relaxed position?  Sitting.  He has confidence in His Father to believe that after He had done his part by dying on the cross, the Father would keep his part and make an end of sin.  No more struggling to hold his position, he rests in the Father’s promise.

What about you?  Do you believe the promise of the end times?  Do you believe that Christ’s sacrifice was ample and that with that you too can trust to see an end of sin?  Does this promise help you to relax by faith?  Or do you think you need to continue the battle yourself?


“For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.”  Romans 8:19

The fall of man was a sad day for everyone involved.  Adam and Eve had curses placed upon them that we have endured now for generations.  The beauty of the earth was marred with weeds and thorns.  And even the creatures were cursed to be beasts of burden, food and clothing for man. Verse 22 says, “The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together…”  Man’s sin corrupted all God had created.  It was no longer good.

Yes, this nineteenth verse tells us that the creature has an expectation.  He is waiting for the revelation or manifestation of the sons of God.  Remember the story of the wheat and the tares?  The wheat was sown, and then the enemy came at night sowing tares in with the wheat.  The instruction of the husbandman was to allow both of them to grow and when the time of reaping came, then they would separate the two.

When this time comes the Lord reveals His children.  He will then create a new heaven and a new earth.  The former beauty will be restored and the curses will be lifted.  The lion and the lamb will be at peace.  The child will be free to play without danger.  This is the expectation of the creature.  This is his hope and what he patiently anticipates.

What can that mean for you?  Yes, as His children, we are waiting for the restoration of creation.  However, it might also affect your attitude toward God’s creation.  Not simply mankind, but also the vegetation and animal life.  They, too, are suffering due to our sinfulness.

What part are you playing, if any, in caring for your world?  Man was placed here to “tend the garden.”  Are you tending or destroying?  Do you see creation as from the hand of God?  Or, better yet, do you see God in creation?


“According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.”  Philippians 1:20

This is the expectation of the true Christian – for one’s life to magnify Christ by whatever means possible.  It is a principle by which we live.  Doing all things as unto Christ.  Knowing that it is only from Him we will receive any reward.  Knowing that our lives are hid with Christ in God, that we are not our own, we have been bought with a price.

The Lord still expects us to be consecrated, wholly set apart for Him.  This has been the expectation of many over the centuries and it has been expressed in many in books and song, but never so clearly as Frances Havergal when she wrote Kept for the Master's Use and also penned this song, 

“Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to Thee. 
Take my moments and my days; Let them flow in ceaseless praise. 
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love. 
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee. 
Take my voice, and let me sing, always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee. 
Take my silver and my gold. Not a mite would I withhold. 
Take my intellect and use every power as Thou shalt choose. 
Take my will and make it Thine:  It shall be no longer mine. 
Take my heart; it is Thine own, It shall be Thy royal throne. 
Take my love; my Lord, I pour at thy feet its treasure-store. 
Take myself, and I will be ever only, all for Thee.”

What about you?  Do you hold yourself to this high of an expectation?  Or are you ashamed?  Are you bold about your Christian living so that Christ can be seen?  Or do you hide your faith?


“And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.”  Acts 3:5

We are in the story of the lame man who is daily laid at the gate of the temple called Beautiful.  Peter and John are going into the temple and the man asks them for alms.  Peter looks straight at the man and tells him to look up into his eyes.  The lame man’s expectation is raised.  He is anticipating something from Peter and John so he does as they command.

I would imagine his heart sank when Peter then said, “Silver and gold have I none.”  But the rest of Peter’s words had to be more than the man had anticipated.  “….rise up and walk.”  I love the description in verse 8.  The man went walking, and leaping, and praising God into the temple!

We, too, need to come to God with hearts fixed and expectations raised.  As we read His Word, and hear the Spirit call, we must look straight at our Saviour with eager expectation of blessing and help.  We will receive more than we anticipate if we will take heed to what we are commanded.

William Carey was quoted as saying, “Expect Great Things from God.”  What about you?  Do you expect God to answer your prayers?  Do you expect him to meet your needs?  Do you expect anything more? He is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than you can think or ask!  Why not raise your expectations!

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