So, the sermon at church on Sunday was a challenge to me. While I am not sure if it had a title, the gist, as I heard it, was the examination of your expectation.
For me, I generally don’t like the concept of “expectation” in the Christan world… I think this is mostly due to my history of being in a more charismatic realm where the common question was, “what are you believing for (expecting) from God?” To which you’d get all kinds of answers… from healing to a new Mercedes. It was really annoying. So, over time I have grown to dislike the idea of expecting things from God. I guess the problem was I could not reconcile expectation and presumption.
Then, as the sermon went on, I began to realize that expectation is not a bad thing. Expectation is simply the knowing anticipation of that which we know will come. So, as a Christian, you can have expectation, however the limit is in the definition itself. The limit (or protection from presumption) is found in the phrase, “…which we know will come.” So, the question we (I) have to ask about expectation is, “do I know it will come?” If I answer yes, then I can be full of expectation for it.
Now, the trick here is to wrestle with the question, “how can I know?” The best answer I have so far is from my notes Sunday morning,
We can only know what has been revealed to us. Those things which God has given us to know, these we can expect.
So, how does God reveal things to us? Right, the scriptures. So, if God has made know to us that something will certainly come, then we can have legitimate expectation for those things. So, with that in mind, I sat out to jot down a few of my expectations… gospel expectations.
Expectations for my family:
- I expect that God will be my God and the God of my family (Genesis 17:7, Acts 2:39, 1 Corinthians 7:14)
Expectations for struggles in life:
- I expect that I will have tribulation in this world, but Jesus (my help and hope) has overcome the world (John 16:33)
- I expect that God will use my trials and struggles to aid others (2 Corinthians 1:3-7)
Expectations for my relationship before God:
- I expect that God will forgive me of my sin (1 John 1:8-9)
- I expect that I can not get to God by my own effort but that he will have to come get me (Galatians 2:16, Ephesians 2:1-10)
- I expect that the result of the above will be seen in good works that he has prepared for me before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 2:10)
Expectations for my livelihood (aka, money):
- I expect that if God has clothed the flowers of the field and fed the birds of the air, then he’ll take care of me (Matthew 6:25-34)
- I expect that if I am rich or poor, hungry or well fed, that I will be more than ok because of Jesus (Philippians 4:11-13)
Expectations for evangelism:
- I expect that I can not reconcile anyone to God, but that God will cause the seeds that I plant and water to grow as he sees fit (1 Corinthians 3:5-7)
- I expect that only one message will change people’s life and that is the only message I have to offer them (1 Corinthians 15:1-11, 1 Corinthians 9:16)
So, what about you? What are you’re Gospel expectations? Drop some in the comment section. The list I just gave was only a start for me. Like I said, I haven’t had any expectations until now… But I’m starting to get excited about the idea of gospel expectations. So, please share some of yours.