Expectations

God has blessed his people with many gifts, earthly and spiritually. So many gifts, that we have come to take many of them for granted.

And we expect them.

Nice homes, well paying jobs in a good location, a large circle of friends, the man/woman of our dreams, children, a perfect family. These are all things that we view as the normal things in life. Normal things that “everyone has.” But the thing is, we don’t all have them. And when we don’t have them, we become upset… even angry! “I need these!” we say. “When will you give them to me?”

We expect them from the Lord and we spend our lives waiting. Waiting for the financial break through, waiting for the group of friends to accept you, or waiting for the man to walk into your life and sweep you off your feet. We think about it throughout the day, we pray fervently about it! We daydream about “that day” and we’re confident that when it comes, our lives will be complete.

Often thoughts of sorrow sink into our minds. Does God not want me to be happy? Am I doing something wrong? Why does everyone else have it, does God not think I deserve it? Depression and jealousy clouds our thoughts and we find ourselves even more upset.

Brothers and sisters, we are humble servants of our Lord. The things we demand from our God consistently show how greedy and spoiled we are. When we don’t see the blessings in our lives, we aren’t looking in the correct places. When we think we’re missing something, we should instead be amazed about how much the Lord has given us. We don’t live for benefits from the Lord, we live to serve and glorify him! The Lord blesses every one of his precious children with what they need, and our ridiculous expectations will never be fulfilled. Our thoughts and emotions will always change, but God’s love towards us never will.

Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Averly Kikkert

The peace afforded us in our hope

There is peace in our sufferings on this earth. We as children of God have a peace that reprobate man does not have. Peace comes from faith in our God who gives us the hope for eternal life. He assures us that “our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:17). Through faith we understand that our afflictions are for our salvation. Through faith, our Father assures us that our current suffering cannot be compared with eternal glory: Romans 8:18, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Our Father gives us true faith, so that we can say with Job, “I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God” (Job 19:25, 26).

We find in all of Paul’s writings to the churches and individuals that for the most part, he begins and ends his message with a salutation or farewell that says the following or something similar: “Grace be unto you, and peace,” which is coupled with “from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” The peace he speaks of always has its source in God alone. Paul understood this very well. Paul knew what suffering was. Read 2 Corinthians 11:23-33! Paul in this passage makes himself look like a fool for the sake of the gospel. He “boasts” of all his afflictions only to point to the source of his peace in all his afflictions.

We must put our trust in God alone, who does all things for our good. In this as believers we have a peace that passeth all understanding. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6, 7).

RK

The eternal joy of heaven

What a hope our Lord has given us! What joy we shall experience! Our eternal joy when we are brought to heaven will be the culmination of our hope in this life. What will be our joy in heaven? Our joy will be that of the saints described in Revelation 7:9, 10: “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” We will be in the company of the elect from all ages for eternity, praising God for delivering from so great a death, from such a hopeless situation, for providing the Mediator to pay for our sins. Also Revelation 21:3, 4: “ And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” All of our earthly life and worries and sorrows will pass away and will be replaced with eternal joy!

Not only is our hope in our being delivered from the troubles of this life, but also that when God takes us home and in the end resurrects our bodies, we are going to see him face to face in our flesh! “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me” (Job 19:25-27). We will be in such a state of perfect righteousness and holiness, that the holy God will allow us to see him in his full glory. When Moses beseeched God to “shew me thy glory” (Exodus 33:18), God replied, “Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live” (v20). And then in verse 23, “And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.” We on this earth cannot see God and live. He is too holy for our eyes to behold and not be struck dead in an instant. In Isaiah’s vision of the throne of God in Isaiah 6 the seraphims were covering their faces and their feet with their wings. A few verses later in the chapter, Isaiah says, “Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (v5). Isaiah thought he was a dead man, for he had seen God. This same holy God we will see face to face because we will have been clothed in white robes of his perfect righteousness and holiness. Meditate on this!

RK