Hope, or a desire for something to happen, can be good. The Bible says that without hope a people perish. Hope in Christ gives us purpose.
Expectations, as my husband is fond of pointing out, are “resentments waiting to happen,” especially since they can be beliefs centered on a future that may not even be realistic.
Welcome to FREEDOM FRIDAY – A devotional, emotional, spiritual and sometimes hysterical series that I will be sharing on occasional Fridays, in addition to my regular Old Things New posts. Why? Because though once bound in chains Christ has set me free – FREE to live, to love, to dance, to sing, to be who God created me to be!
In recent weeks God has been speaking to me through other people about some of the expectations I’ve placed on Him for my own life. Now, don’t get me wrong. The Bible is full of promises to those who follow Christ and God is faithful to keep His promises. Those are good expectations to have. My problem is getting ahead of God with this busy imagination of mine and working to achieve the things I
am sure think God wants for my life!
Have you ever gotten ahead of God, imagining and planning how your life would play out? Have you ever been WRONG?
The problem is, when we start having expectations of how things are going to be without God’s clear direction we can start working toward our own end rather than waiting for what God wants to do in our life . . . and what God wants is always THE BEST THING for us. Sadly, our expectations can become so targeted that we miss God completely!
Let’s not mix hope with expectation.
My inspiration for today’s FF came from two sources, Pastor Roy of Outreach Church and Diane of An Extraordinary Day. Both have recently shared messages that touched on the time leading up to the crucifixion of Christ and the crowds who were streaming after Jesus, expectations running full bore.
One week before Jesus’ crucifixion (now celebrated as Palm Sunday) Jesus rode into the city of Jerusalem on the back of a donkey just as prophesied in Zechariah 9:9. The Jewish people had long anticipated a Messiah who would come and rescue them from the tyrannic Roman Empire, and they became excited at the prospect that this Jesus was the one, their expected deliverer! Palm branches waved wildly and garments were laid down upon the road to carpet the way for Messiah.
“The King who comes in the name of the Eternal One is blessed! Peace in heaven! Glory to God in the highest!,” shouted the crowds (Luke 19:38 The Voice Bible).
As my friend Diane pointed out in her post The Day Jesus Lays it All Down for Us, the people were familiar with the words they were quoting directly from Psalm 118:26 so they should’ve been familiar with the verse that followed in Psalm 118:27:
“Bring the sacrifice, and tie it to the horns of the altar.”
WHOA! Pause and think about THAT!
During the triumphal procession into Jerusalem throngs of people followed after Jesus. As the week moved forward Jesus taught in the Temple daily where the ire of the “religious folk” was raised higher with each passing day; He shared a final Passover meal with his disciples where he warned Peter that he would deny him; He was betrayed to the authorities by one of His own disciples; the crowds began to fall away and finally, when He came before Pilate one final time, many who had followed now turned upon Him demanding his death!
Matt. 27:24 tells us that, “Pilate saw that unless he wanted a riot on his hands, he now had to bow to their wishes, so he took a pitcher of water, stood before the crowd, and washed his hands,” saying, “This man’s blood will be upon you and not upon me.
The crowds replied, “Indeed, let His blood be upon us – upon us and our children!”
Still missing who Jesus was, in light of their own expectations, they didn’t even know the significance of their own words. Indeed, Christ’s blood, spilled out on the cross, would be upon them and upon all future generations.
A covering for sin, bringing life to those who believe and accept Him, and death for those who reject Him.
Expectations caused the people to miss who Christ was just as expectations can cause us to miss “the best” that God has in store for us.
Today, Good Friday, this is what I’m thankful for:
- The blood of Jesus shed for me.
- Robes of righteousness that cover me even when I don’t always get it right.
- God teaching me AGAIN that I need to let go my own expectations and turn every part of my life over to Him . . . Yes, He has my heart but does he have my future, my hopes & dreams, my family, my everything, or am I still holding on . . . just a bit?
- Knowing that what God has planned for my future is far better than my own plans.
- Peace in knowing for certain that He is Sovereign God.
- Joy in walking with Him and learning new things daily . . . and an eternity of new truths to learn ahead of me still!
What are you thankful for?
Wishing you and yours an Easter weekend filled with awe as you experience anew, God’s great LOVE for YOU!
Photos taken at Mount Rainier National Park and Long Beach, Washington
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Wednesdays A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Juana Mikels Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesdays A Little R & R Whole Hearted Home So Much at Home Mom’s Morning Coffee Women with Intention
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3-D Lessons for Life/Thought Provoking Thursdays The Deliberate Mom/Shine Blog Hop I Choose Joy
Fridays A Look at the Book Christian Mommy Blogger Fellowship Fridays Blessing Counters Missional Women Faith Filled Fridays Faith & Fellowship Bloghop Grace & Truth Linkup
Saturdays Still Saturday The Weekend Brew
Sundays Spiritual Sundays Sunday Stillness