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 in Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death – Philippians 1:20.
Apostle Paul was imprisoned in Rome, awaiting his trial. He knew he would either be released or executed, but whatever the outcome would be, he was placing his trust in the Lord. As Christians, we need our faith to rise to another level; too often, we place our expectations on what we see, hear and feel.
Concerned about what people think of us; afraid to be tested to get the best; worrying about being brought to shame. When God has promised, those that wait on the Lord will not be brought to shame. Life on earth is all there is for those who don’t believe in God, so it’s natural for them to strive for this world’s values, money, popularity, power, and prestige. As Christians, if we do it the way God has instructed (Matthew 6:33 – But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you), we wouldn’t strive for the world values when we do it according to Bible principals. We cannot lose our focus; Jesus is on His way back for His church, and what we have accomplished in worldly values will not enable us to enter into Heaven.
There is nothing wrong with desiring to live a life without having to live pay check to pay check or a monthly income; it becomes a sin when we place our values more on money, popularity, and prestige rather than the things that would build the kingdom of God. Jesus asked His disciples, For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul – Mark 8:36? If we live according to the Word of God, it’s His responsibility to supply our needs, and as we delight ourselves in Him, He will give us the desires of our hearts. It’s God’s pleasure to see His children’s joy is fulfilled.
The reason why many Christians don’t have their expectation in God but their expectation in worldly values is because they spend more time about the things of the world rather than seeking God in prayer and taking the time to read God’s Word and allow Him to speak to them through His Word. If the Word of God is not residing in our spirit or mind, how would one know when God is speaking to us? Our expectation should be from God, not in people; this is why God has instructed us not to place our confidence in men, including females, when the Bible speaks of man. People are limited in what they can do, and because of the selfishness of people, they would rather see you fall than see you excel. When the Spirit of God lives within our being, we become like our Father, desiring the best for all mankind.
When we pray, we should have an expectation that God heard the prayer and that He will answer the prayer. It may not be when we desire it, but the prayer will be answered when the time is needed according to the will of God. Stop placing your expectation in what people say, start reading God’s Word, and place your expectation in Him. God can open doors no man can open; He can close doors no man can open. He’s greater than any doctor or the medication they prescribe. He’s the CEO of all businesses, whether they know it or not. He’s a counselor, joy, and peace. Provider and protector, He’s King and will dominate everything we allow Him to bring His will into. Place your expectation in the God that speaks, builds, destroys, and is the giver of life! Just as we would be in expectation in opening a gift, open the greatest gift God has given us to learn about Him and His Son, the Bible.