Tag Archives: expectation

Job 6-8; 1 John 1

Perhaps in today’s terms, he’d be authentic, vulnerable, transparent.

If my misery could be weighed
    and my troubles be put on the scales,
they would outweigh all the sands of the sea.
    That is why I spoke impulsively. (Job 6:2-3, NLT, in response to Eliphaz)

But his unlovely grappling with the tragedies in his life brought him criticism and condemnation instead of comfort or understanding–from his very own friends.

One should be kind to a fainting friend,
    but you accuse me without any fear of the Almighty.
15 My brothers, you have proved as unreliable as a seasonal brook
    that overflows its banks in the spring
16     when it is swollen with ice and melting snow.
17 But when the hot weather arrives, the water disappears.
    The brook vanishes in the heat. (Job 6:14-17, NLT)

Job wades through turmoil. His successful, stable life and faith are scrambled by unimaginable tragedy. Whether his friends’ words were intended to help or harm, they certainly provided no comfort (think memes). He is in a pit, and whether they knew it or not, their words sparked a new burden.

I can replay his experience by rereading a passage, but in real time, real life, one often does not have the luxury to hit pause to contemplate life’s facets. In real time, replay takes place in memory and dreams, either bringing resolution or torment.

I, too, have been assigned months of futility,
    long and weary nights of misery.
Lying in bed, I think, ‘When will it be morning?’ (Job 7:3-4, NLT)

I think on loss, disappointment, grief, anger, hurt. I think of relationships where I’ve shared things in vulnerability and authenticity (really heartache), places I thought were ones of safety, but ultimately were not. And in that pit, the weight of loss, disappointment, grief, anger and hurt are the kindling that embitters sins of resentment, unforgiveness, grudge.

It was a recurring message in books I’d read last year: No one is coming to save you.

I realized I expected friends I considered near to rally around and help me out of the pit. But the truth is, they never said they would or could. No wonder I felt alone when I was grasping the vapor belief/hope that they should.

This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts. (1 John 1:5-10, NLT)

God is light, and I’m grateful for the intimacy I have with him through prayer and His Word. He is my safe place. He meets me in the ugly, scrambled spaces and speaks with clarity and gentleness–oh that I can hide his word in my heart so that I would not sin against him. Feelings let me know something is wrong–but left untended, they can become agitated and enflamed to sin. Do not be deceived. Offense and expectation have no cap on captives. Freeing others from unexpressed expectations freed me from sins of bitterness, resentment and anger. It also gave me newly found freedom to delight and invest my heart and time in more fruitful pursuits.

Courtney (66books365)

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1 Kings 3-5; Luke 23:1-26

“And they began to accuse him saying, ‘We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ the king.’

So Pilate asked Jesus, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’

‘Yes, it is as you say,’ Jesus replied.” Luke 23:2-4

Jesus isn’t just accused of being Christ the king; he was and is the anointed one, the Messiah, the answer to all Israel’s hopes and dreams.

Peter later confirms this and Luke records this in Acts 2:36, “Let all of Israel be assured of this:  God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

The Jews anticipate a king who displays political and worldly power and force. A deliverer who elevates their status in a downtrodden and dog eat dog world. Jesus, the Messiah God sends is not who they want. When Pilate offers to give Jesus back to his people, they choose another hero, a murderer and troublemaker, Barabbas.

This leads me to ask myself the questions, “When has Jesus asked to come into my life and I have turned him away because he isn’t who I want him to be? When do I accuse Jesus of upending my world and subverting my ways?”

I pray that God frees my heart from its own stoniness so that I can be more like the transformed Peter.  Daily, I surrender my life to Christ the King, the anointed One who is so much more than I could ever dream or hope Him to be. I pray that God keeps me from being bound by my agenda and not His. I want more of Jesus and less of me.

May it be so.

Klueh

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Num. 6; Ps. 40,41; Song 4; Heb. 4

I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. ~ Psalm 40:1

It feels like we’ve been “waiting” a long time.  But what does it really mean?  It means to remain inactive until something happens.  But then what about until, what does that mean?  It means the time before something happens…  So then “waiting” actually implies that we EXPECT something to happen.  And that’s what “waiting” means; it’s looking and hoping for with great expectation.

My husband and I have been waiting for some time now.  I think the length of time spent waiting is the hard part.  It seems to me that the more time I have on my hands, the more my wheels spin and my mind doesn’t stay focused on Christ, as it should, and my thoughts begin to betray me.  Then, before I know it, I’m no longer waiting, but instead I’ve given up hope and have gone back to spinning my tires in the mud, getting nowhere.

But not this time!

This time will be different, because this time we are staying focused and we are looking to the Lord with great expectation.  We are changing our perspective.  We are no longer going to stand in line, as if by some miracle our God might look at us.  No, the Word assures us that we are to “fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it],” (Hebrews 4:16). 

So what’s different this time?  This time we are standing from victory.  To borrow a phrase (which I’m so adopting) from a friend, “We are praying from victory.”  We don’t have to doubt that He will come through, because when we pray from victory, then we are already there and know it has happened.

How do your perspective and attitude change when you know?  Don’t you walk with more confidence?  Don’t you approach things fearlessly, confidently, and boldly?  From now on, we are approaching life FROM VICTORY.  Thank you, Father.  To God be the glory.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust [core, center, security]. ~ Psalm 40:4

Heatherpotts5

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