Wildfire of Hope and Expectancy

I have to believe God, that He is good and has promised good things. I have to believe He loves me and only wants my absolute best, even when I'm questioned, ridiculed, and judged. I have to believe He's smiling down at me right now with pride, for all the times I said no and walked away. For every time I've kept my promise to Him and honor Him daily. Every time I look opposition in the face and exalt Him in spite of it. I have to believe in His protection when situations don't pan out. When I sacrifice my comfort and deny my flesh I'm becoming more Christ-like, the point of it all. - written Saturday night, June 2018

Not long after this was written, my hope and expectancy were tested. I allowed doubt and distractions to fill my thoughts: Does God's promise still hold true and if so, how long can I hold on? 

We all are waiting on God to show up and do something in our lives. Doubt creeps in slowly, almost unnoticed until the negative soundtrack is playing on a loop in our minds. Suddenly, we're entertaining the what-if scenarios and the seed of hope becomes smaller and smaller. 

Hope is vital to our faith-walk as Christians. Hope is much deeper than "hoping" you will win the lottery or get a promotion. Hope in Jesus is a sure thing, a bet that will always count His followers victorious. Hope is a verb, an action to be participated in. To hope is to recall every pit God has pulled you from. Every time God removed you from a situation you put yourself in and didn't hold it against you. To hope is to praise the name of Jesus while the waves of disappointment crash against you. Every time hope is ignited in the soul it douses the flame of doubt. 

Expectation is an attitude posture. I've seen a quote floating around that says "if you never have expectations, you'll never be disappointed,” probably one of the dumbest things I've read. What you expect will happen. God cannot perform a miracle if you're not believing and expecting a miracle. He'll never force us to choose His path, therefore we have to open the door for Him to work. 

The Bible is an amazing reference point for a plethora of people who suffered, endured, and persevered in the name of Jesus. Studying the life of Joseph or David puts my life into perspective. Suddenly, the world isn't crashing down and God doesn't seem so unfair. These men and women of God praised anyway. "And if not, He is still good" echoes through the pages of the Bible. Time after time we're shown how plans were wrecked but God...He shows up bigger and better than anyone could imagine. 

"...but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." (Romans 5:3-5, New King James Version) 

Trials and tribulations will come, their presence will either bring us closer to Christ or extinguish our fire. Faith, hope, and expectancy are muscles and muscles only grow when they're stretched beyond current capacity. Whatever has diminished your hope and expectancy only provides room for God to show how big and wondrous He truly is. Negativity is everywhere, choose to believe in every outlandish promise God's placed on the inside of you. Why not believe He'll deliver? He is still the same God who parted the Red Sea, who opened Sarah's womb and made Abraham the father of nations, who sent His one and only Son to pardon us.

God wants to amaze us, trust that He is doing good in all things. Allow the flicker of hope in your heart to spread like wildfire and watch God do exceedingly and abundantly more than you can dream. 

New King James Version (NKJV). Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

FaithRachel StoddardComment