Love Fiercely

 

Before I went to Israel — I had many thoughts of what it would feel like, or be like when I got there.

 

I was wrong about everything! 

 

 

 


 

To my surprise, I felt exactly like I did when I am anywhere else, & yet I had an expectation that I would feel | respond | & experience a few things:
  • I thought that I would be crying non-stop.
  • I was convinced that I would feel closer to Jesus than ever before.
  • & in many ways, I had this whole mindset of what things would be like… I had an expectation.

 


 

I find that as a human & as a woman {haha} I have a good amount of expectations in my life… & while I think it is good to know what you want, up to a certain point. It can also be unhealthy, because maybe like you — I have NEVER had an expectation that ended up being met EXACTLY the way I wanted it to be. 

 

Through this journey to Israel, I had a deeper revelation about expectations. So I thought to myself — well what does the Bible say about expectations? In life your expectations can be high or low, reasonable or unreasonable, good or bad — but to put it simply:

 

 

Expectations: are beliefs that spring from a person’s thought process when examining evidence.

 

 

 

 


Our expectations are not always healthy, because of flaws in our thinking & the fact that we may have a biased idea | hope | or desire.

  • Often, we form expectations automatically, without even putting effort into it.

  • Sometimes, we “get our hopes up” based on a false premise or a misreading of the evidence we think we perceive.


 

When expectations are not met {which seems to happen pretty frequently for me} — we end up experiencing pain & often place blame on the something or someone who did not live up to our expectations. Yet, this is the problem – even if our expectations were seemingly reasonable to us… that doesn’t mean that they were healthy or even right.

 

 

 


 

Expectations are based on human assumptions & can cause a lot of trouble.

For example: when a person steps into a store, they carry expectations about what they will purchase. Where the items are located | what they will look like | or even what they will cost. The individual may see evidence that a store has what they want & may form expectations about what they will be able to purchase.

The person going into the store may see the item that they want & it may look nice, but when they get home they realize the box is empty. They had formed an expectation that they will have the item that they purchased. Then, what if you went to a store — not just one, but 3 & they didn’t have what they were looking for… that person would begin to struggle because, they had an expectation based on what they had thought | researched | or even known in the past. & this expectation led to disappointment that they never would have experienced without having the expectation. 

This person is now dealing with upset feelings & maybe even resentment towards the stores, based entirely on what they had hoped they would be able to buy or what they thought would happen. & yet, there was no promise made to them about the item they were looking for, & still they feel as if they’ve been deceived or shortchanged.

 


 

This may seem like a silly example — & yet, it happens every day in our lives in ways we never thought it would. It is our flawed expectations that can create a lot of trouble in your life in so many ways. It is in mostly the area of relationships that we have the most issues with expectations. It doesn’t matter what kind of relationship, because any relationship — parent/child | boss/employee | friends | pastors | leaders | significant others | or even members of a team have a type of mutual dependency, & expectations that exist. If those expectations are not met, conflict will be the result.

 

 

Often times, our expectations come from what we are used to: our family growing up | or our personality | or even our desires… If you grew up in a family where shouting & open conflict was the normal way to resolve an issue — you will expect others to shout & be combative if they have a problem with you. Or on the other hand, a person who prefers to hide emotions & talk issues out in a reasonable way — can find it impossible to convince you that they have been hurt in any way — because this person may not be shouting yet, so it can’t be that serious — & you therefore continue to repeat the behavior that irritates this person because you cannot pick up the cues that you are used to picking up on.

 

 

I found that the Bible encourages us to trust in the Lord — & when we do, we can expect good things from Him… our problem is not that we have expectations, it is that we put them on the wrong person.

 

 

 

Yes, I must find my rest in God. He is the God who gives me hope. It is surely true that he is my rock & the God who saves me. He is like a fort to me, so I will always be secure. I depend on {can expect} God to save me & to honor me. He is my mighty rock & my place of safety. Trust in him at all times, you people. Tell him all your troubles. God is our place of safety.

 

 

Psalm 62:5-8

 

 

If you choose to live knowing who God is in your life, you have this promise to look forward to in Proverbs 23:18.

 

 

There really is hope for you in days to come. So your hope will not be cut off.

 

 

 

You see, I have learned in this season that those that follow & trust in God are justified in having great expectations… We must remember that these expectations are in a God, who is PERFECT | NEVER FAILING | & NEVER CEASES TO LOVE US. So, we cannot have the same kinds of expectations on those around us.

 

 

 

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today & forever.

 

 

Hebrews 13:8

 

 

Because God never changes, we can put our trust in Him — Imagine what it must have been like to walk, ACTUALLY WALK with Jesus!!! It is very hard to fathom, & yet when I was in Israel I had a hard time realizing how the Jewish people | Jewish leaders | & especially the disciples doubted Jesus so much. As I was experiencing & even walking so many places Jesus had been only a few thousand years ago… I caught myself having expectations on these places, for example — I wanted historians to be certain about their historical validity & I wanted them to be well preserved… I also wanted these sites to be intimate & NOT crowded! 

 

 

I have no idea why I had all these expectations, but I did. I caught myself so many times being disappointed, & that is hard to believe because I was experiencing THE MOST GREATEST & MOST IMPORTANT HISTORICAL AREAS & PLACES I have ever cared about in my life! This made me question myself | it made me question my thought process | & my personal expectations… I realized that the disciples must have had their own expectations. They must have thought about what the messiah was like | they must have thought about what it would be like to walk with Him & serve Him | the disciples had to have had their own disappointments & frustrations along the way… & it is unrealistic to think that they were completely content, because they were human like me & you!

 

 

This led me to understand something that I had NEVER even considered…

 

What if in life, because of our expectations: we make the miraculous > mundane | the spectacular > simple | & the anointed > annoying.

 

 

We may as well be like the crowd that cried & rallied to crucify their only hope — because thats what we do when we place our expectation in things/people… THEY CHANGE! It is scary to think that you can be in the presence of God & never understand the power right next to you… This is what happens when we enable our expectations to outweigh our reality — we miss what is most important in life!

 

Overall, I have learned through my trip to Israel — That Expectations can be very good & also very unhealthy. I hope you will continue to expect great things from God, & keep your expectations on yourself & not project them on others! 

 

2017 just ended & at the end of the year, people often reflect on what has happened & what they want to change. But everyday should be a reflection… we have a chance to make a commitment to change for the better everyday! As you look forward into this new year — You may not quite know what is ahead… You may remember last years successes & failures | joy & happiness | failed expectations & surprising accomplishments | sickness | health | & a whole list of other memories.

 

Some things have encouraged us to make changes in 2018 & other things have forced us to make these changes. Change is good & that is why it is so important to follow God. Because of Him, we want to become more like Jesus We want to let go of our sins & honor God | to be more loving & forgiving | & let the world know what Jesus has done for us by living our life as an example for others to follow.

 

 

& it is so encouraging to know that though circumstances may change, God does not change! He is always dependable & always there for us — Jesus is the same yesterday & today & even forever.

 

 

This means that Jesus is here with you. RIGHT NOW.

He is involved in your life every day, today. Right now!

He is not a theoretical presence — Jesus is the most authentic presence & person you will ever encounter. & you can.

 

 

RIGHT NOW! 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus said in Matthew 28:20:

 

 

 

& you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end.

 

 

 

 

God WILL NOT leave you.

 

He CANNOT break a promise.

 

He WILL NEVER stop loving you.

 

 

 

 


 

SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN

 

 

 

  • It means that you can always depend upon his character.

  • It means that you can always know that His love for you WILL NOT decrease.

  • It means that you can always KNOW He is commited to you in all things, at all times, in all ways.

  • Though the world changes, circumstances change, people change, & even you change, Jesus never does.

 


 

 

 

There is no pit so deep that God is not there with us There is no situation in which He does not walk beside us. EVEN WHEN YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE HE IS  GOD IS WITH YOU!

 

 

When we are lonely, God will be our companion. Some of our most lonely moments can be when we are in a crowd, & yet no one notices us… We think no one cares — but Jesus is our ever-present friend when we are in need & even when we don’t think we are in need at all!

 

 

 

 

 

He promises In Deuteronomy 31:6:

 

 

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

 

 

 

No person | circumstance | choice | or situation can ever remove us from the place where God loves you & chooses you as His child. What this meant to me, while in Israel was that even when people don’t believe — even when people doubt, God doesn’t doubt them & He still believes in that person. This is why ALL of the disciples had a chance to “get it.” & this is why we also have a chance to learn what we need to as well… If you haven’t noticed — most of the stories in the Bible are about people who fail, just like me & you. These people we read about & study, are more like us than you think at times.

 

 

& in 2018 I want to more than ever, put my expectations {unrealistic & realistic} in Gods hands… & not on other people or situations. I really do desire to choose to see the best & believe the best. Probably much like me, you find that even when you desire something — you aren’t always perfect in reaching or living up to that desire… this is one major reason we need God. He can help us accomplish things in ourselves that seem impossible. I often am even upset with myself because I can’t live up to my own expectations, so how do I learn from where Jesus walked… literally & figuratively? 

 

 

I have decided & am going to strive to not minimize others or my effort. I am going to choose to manage my expectations by giving them to God. & live in the reality that I want what God wants — more than what I want… so that means, I can lay down my desires | expectations | & even my frustrations & simply choose to follow Him over what comes natural in my flesh. 

 

 

If I feel uncomfortable, I am probably headed in the right direction, because I am growing. Growth is NEVER a place of comfort. You will not often find yourself going down a path to a place you have never been & have a constant feeling of enjoyment. It will be frustrating | you will get tired | you will question the importance of it | & you may even want to quit. But that will never stop God from standing with you or leading you… following where God is taking you is ALWAYS A CHOICE.

 

 

God will never force you to follow Him or make you push through along the way… & yet we are encouraged to stand in hard times through JAMES 1:18:

 

 

 

Those who stand firm during testing are blessed. They are tried & true.

They will receive the life God has promised to those who love him as their reward.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Following where Jesus walked may not look like what you thought it would or should look like. 

 

 

Your life story may not be the one you wanted.

 

 

The things you have faced, you may not have chosen for yourself.

 

 

& even now, you may not understand why things are the way they are… 

 

 

But, that does not mean that it is time to stop following the path God has for you & just because your life is difficult or even painful, that doesn’t mean that Jesus doesn’t care. 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

I have learned that following Jesus will ALWAYS go against my flesh.

 

 

 

 

& yet, I would rather follow Him at any cost than go my own way — so once again, probably for the 300th time, I lay my expectations down | I lay my ways down | & I choose Jesus over anything else this life has to offer {good or not so good.}

 

 

 

 

 

WILL YOU JOIN ME!?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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