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Great Expectations

I once asked a counselor what the major issues were that brought people to him. Without hesitation he said, “The root of many problems is broken expectations; if not dealt with, they mature into anger and bitterness.”

In our best moments, it’s easy to expect that we will find ourselves in a good place surrounded by good people who like and affirm us. But life has a way of breaking those expectations. What then?

Stuck in jail and beset by fellow believers in Rome who didn’t like him (Phil. 1:15-16), Paul remained surprisingly upbeat. As he saw it, God had given him a new mission field. While under house arrest, he witnessed to the guards about Christ, which sent the gospel into Caesar’s house. And even though those opposing him were preaching the gospel from wrong motives, Christ was being preached, so Paul rejoiced (v.18).

Paul never expected to be in a great place or to be well liked. His only expectation was that “Christ will be magnified” through him (v.20). He wasn’t disappointed.

If our expectation is to make Christ visible to those around us regardless of where we are or who we are with, we will find those expectations met and even exceeded. Christ will be magnified.

Lord, forgive me for making my life all about what
I expect and not about glorifying You regardless
of my circumstances. May Your love, mercy,
and justice be magnified through me today.
Make it your only expectation to magnify Christ wherever you are and whoever you are with.

Insight

In this passage, Paul rejoiced that God used his imprisonment “for the furtherance of the gospel.” It gave him the rare opportunity to preach to “the whole palace guard, and to all the rest” (v.13). Encouraged by Paul’s example, many Roman Christians were emboldened to share the gospel without fear (v.14). Paul testified to the truth that “all things work together for good to those who love God” (Rom. 8:28).

12 thoughts on “Great Expectations

  1. lillydee says:

    Thank you Jesus for forgiving me for my countless errors in representing Christianity. Please help me to live my life, from this day forward, as a true believer & doer of your Holy Word, in Jesus name, Amen! I LOVE YOU JESUS. Now let me put it into action.

  2. mcbiech says:

    Melt our hearts Lord to understand these things and to walk in them.

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