Sunday, July 21, 2013

July 21, 2013 … Expectations and Faith

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 202

Devotional Song: Go to this link   … Today I ask any readers to use this link and hear a song sung by Nichole Nordeman singing “What IF?”, which asks one of the most important questions anyone can ask in life.

Highlight Passage of the Day: Philippians 1: 20 [Paul’s expectations were all wrapped up in Christ.] … [NLT] …
  20 For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that causes me shame, but that I will always be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past, and that my life will always honor Christ, whether I live or I die.
 Contextual Study involving today’s passage found in Philippians, Chapter 1 Go to this link … 

Reference Passage of the Day #1: Roman 8: 28 [Faith based in God’s truth will avoid doubts, disappointments, and discouragement. ] … [NLT] …  
28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Reference Passage of the Day #2: Philippians 3: 14 [Paul’s eyes were on a prize that would never produce doubts because his expectations were all in Christ.] … [NLT]  
14 I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.

My Journal for Today: The lyrics to the song, sung by Nichole Nordeman to which I link any reader here with me today, is one of the most provocative and important questions any person dealing with life must answer. Go and hear it to see where Nichole is leading you, … especially concerning the expectations of living with faith in the only One Who can fulfill all the assumptions and expectations of life, which so often can, when unmet, lead us to doubts, disappointments, and discouragement.

After the Apostle Paul had been broken and reborn in Christ, he developed a whole new set of expectations about life; and as he expresses to the Philippian faithful (and to you and me) in Philippians 1: 20, he wrapped all his “what ifs” about life into his relationship with Christ. He truly believed that his expectations of trust in Christ would never go unmet, no matter what happened in this life to him or surrounding him. He truly believed what he wrote in Romans 8: 28; and it raises the question today as I write this … DO WE?!

Somewhere, from someone, I remember the saying, “The road to hell is paved with unrealized assumptions?” And that old saying is absolutely true if any of us is basing our expectations, assumptions, or faith in our selves rather than in our Savior. So where are the unmet expectations of our lives leading us?

“What if” … or ... “IF I’d only” …are expectation-based assertions which can be deadly if they are causing us to become paralyzed by the deadly 3-Ds I mentioned above, … DOUBT, DISAPPOINTMENT, or DISCOURAGEMENT, … any of which are used by Satan to drag Christians down into pits of self-pity and selfishness, … all of which can dampen or damage our witness so that others can’t see the light of Christ shining in us.

So, I hope we all have the faith that the Apostle Paul wrote about in his many letters to Christians like you and me. I pray that we’ve all answered Nichole Nordeman’s “WHAT IF” question with a strongly proclaimed and living faith in Jesus Christ; and we all (as Paul wrote about in Phil. 3: 14) have our eyes on the prize which will never cause us to have doubts, disappointments, or discouragement.

 My Prayer for Today … Oh, LORD, You are my “what if;” and I put all my expectations in You … yesterday, today, and tomorrow!! … Amen

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