The Art of Expectation

November 7, 2019

In the faith journey, many have professed with their mouth what their hearts do not believe, they do this mostly to participate in the tradition/norm of their local church or to be recognized as a positive talker. A lot of people go about speaking ‘Christianese’ while their heart do not even understand the language and until your subconscious is in an expectant state, you will not receive.

Some are not expectant because they don’t believe it will come, worse are those who believe it will/can happen for others but it won’t/can’t happen for them. This feeling continues to deem our faith lamp indirectly by crushing our expectations from God.

A farmer who invest hours into tilling his land, does this with the expectation that there will be a harvest. The same agricultural illustration is brought to our notice in I Corinthians 9:10: “…he that plows ought to be plowing in expectation; and he that threshes should be partaker of his expectation.”

Of the three Greek words, translated in the New Testament by “expect,” prosdokao, meaning to look forward toward what will probably occur, whether in hope or dread (Acts 3:5Luke 3:15), is not as intense as ekdechomai (Hebrews 10:13), meaning to wait for that of the realization of which one is assured (“as the husbandman waits for the processes of Nature (James 5:7), and the patriarchs for the Divine promise,” Westcott), or as vivid as the noun apokaradokia (Romans 8:19;Philippians 1:20, “earnest expectation”), which describes the stretching forth of the head toward an object that is anticipated.

Most of what I am writing about today is on the verb, ‘ekdechomai’, there is something about it’s meaning that says ‘it must happen’. Expectations keeps us in a steady place of readiness. Expectation fosters hope.Hope is the most essential tool in any journey. It’s an anchor that hooks you to the coming good. Expectation is the small voice that says, “it is going to happen to me”.

People seem to spend their lives thinking: What is the worst thing that could happen to me? They fill their mind with this and it influences their whole life. Now, what can possibly go wrong today? This has gone wrong, that has gone wrong, there must be a third disaster somewhere! And they usually get what they are expecting — the worst. But what does the bible indicate? 

The Bible teaches that we should be expecting the best. Now here again is an area where we must adjust our thinking to agree with God’s Word. If we are going to get the result that is promised, it will not be by expecting the worst that can happen, it will be by expecting the best. Always expect the best! 

In Acts chapter 27 there is the record of the shipwreck during Paul’s enforced journey to Rome. After describing the fury of the hurricane that was battering the ship, the bible recounts how the people on board had their eyes on the sense-knowledge circumstances around them: no sun or stars to guide them, just the tempest blowing day after day after day and lost all expectations. When they looked at this situation, the record states that all expectation that we should be saved was then taken away.” Who took it away? They did — they took it out of their minds.

Look at verse 25 (this is Paul speaking): “Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: For I believe God…” Be of good cheer? That there is expectation!

Romans 12:12 gives a vital key to an understanding of the subject of expectation. The first clause of this verse is packed with truth: “Rejoice in expectation.” Rejoicing is a repeated experience of joy. Here it is obvious it can also refer to being so excited about what you are about to receive, so joyful and excited that you are on tiptoe waiting for it to arrive. This enthusiasm is generated not by outside circumstances but by the renewing of our mind to the greatness of God’s Word. It is not a case of sitting there with a straight face and a sour look, and saying, “Yes, I’m expecting the answer.” There is a rejoicing in expectation, there a thrill about it, because you are seeing the Word coming alive.

In Romans 15:13 God is declared to be “the God of expectation”. God is characterised as having this attitude of expectation. “Now the God of expectation fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in expectation…” To abound means to be over above in number or measure. Expectation is not just saying every morning, “Today is the day”, and then forget it for the rest of the day. This verse teaches a rejoicing, an abounding, an enthusiasm — it becomes a real expectation.

Expectation is certainly not a dull, straight-faced thing! Rejoicing in expectation, abound in expectation; there is some emotion involved. You supply the excitement, the expectation.

How do we show our expectation? Notice Hebrews 10:23. “Let us hold fast the confession of our expectation without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised).”Now there are two things you can immediately learn from this, and the first is that it is possible to waver. It is very possible to waver: people around you will will try to get you off the Word, that is satan at work, don’t waver!

There is no automatic protection from wavering which becomes yours at salvation; it takes work. You and I have the privilege of deciding if we are going to hold fast. his is a powerful truth, yet it is possible because God has never asked you to do one thing that is not possible for you to do.

The word “confession” is a translation of the Greek word homologia —homo means “like” and logia comes from logos,“a word or saying”. The confession then is not what you and I would understand as a “professing”, because we can use that word in the sense of a person who is making a profession of something that they are not. This is not its meaning here. It means “to say a like word”, or as I like to express it, “to say the same as the Word says”, agreeing with the Word. The English word that gives a more preferable translation is the word “confession”, not the traditional form of religious confession, but a confession with the mouth that agrees with the Word. Notice a similar form of the same word in Romans 10:10: “With the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Your expectation will show itself by your speech and by your actions; your talk and your walk. Everything you do will either show that you are expecting what God has said you can have in the Word or that you do not really expect it will come to pass.

And why should you hold fast to it? “For he is faithful that promised. Now you must say what the Word says, not what the circumstances seem to say, not what the economy says, not even what your wife or husband, your best friends, or your neighbours say. This is one vital way in which you demonstrate the fact that you are expecting results.

‘Wait anxiously for good’ // Micah 1:12

Also this is Romans 8:15-17 in the Message bible

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!

Look at the phrase “adventurously expectant“, please be reminded that there is something about the art of expectation, it is the forecasting of miracles. learn to practice the art of stretching forth your hands to ask him, “What’s next papa”.

On it’s own, expectation puts you in a fine place to receive. it brings an incurable optimism.

Expect greatness. It is happening. It is happneing to me.

Let me know if it was a good read, you can also contribute on the comment page.

Have a good day!

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