Message: “EXPECTATION CHURCH” - Pastor Christian Gaffney
Sunday, June 2nd, 2019
When it comes to what we really, honestly, deep down in the depths of our heart believe about God, people tend to fall into one of two broad categories.
The first can be summed up by Joan Osborne's 1995 hit, One of Us. In the song, Osborne asks the question, "What if God was one of us?" Osborne is no Bible scholar, but how many people do you know who treat God as though he were "just one of us." Because it's human nature to filter everything that happens to us through the lens of our experiences, we sometimes assign Him the same frailties and weaknesses we've experienced in our relationships.
This mindset limits our expectation of what God can and will do in and through us if we would allow Him. We live our lives as though He is "just one of us," as though He exists separate from His divine nature. We assign natural world characteristics to a supernatural being instead of embracing what we know to be the absolute truth about God's character, His nature, and His promises.
Of course, the flip side of the same coin is those who have unrealistic expectations of God. We believe that if we serve, tithe, and live a good Christian life, He'll reward with us healthy marriages, obedient children, and a healthy bank balance. If you've ever felt that way, take heart that you're not alone. Remember, even John the Baptist struggled with his expectations sending messengers to ask Jesus, "Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?" Matthew 11:3
Once again, the mistake is assigning natural world attributes to a supernatural being. We put God on our timetable. We equate our happiness with His love. We take the promise of Psalm 37:4 "Delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart," to mean we'll get everything we want. But what happens when reality collides with unmet expectations? What happens when God "lets us down?"
First, see the flaw in your logic. God has not let you down. Your expectations of God have let you down. There's a world of difference between the two.
Jesus response to John is our model. Instead of rebuking him for his doubts, Jesus lovingly reminds John to refocus his expectations to the Word of God – absolute truth - and not on present circumstances. It's no different for us. Instead of perceiving what's happening as God having "let us down," focus on what we know to be true about the character and nature of God.
The key here is to remember that just as when Jesus walked the earth, following Father's will to the cross, He is willing to disappoint everyone except His Heavenly Father. Everyone.
By allowing disappointment and frustration, God allows us as His followers the privilege of pure joy and real contentment in the long term. Through it, we come to a place of understanding that while the world will let us down, He never will.
"Faith built on a lasting foundation makes expectations of God that seem impossible to others, while at the same time stays fully connected in relationship to God and who He is even when those expectations seem to go unmet." Christian Gaffney
Faith is seen in our expectations made and unmet.
Faith is confident expression of trust.
Faith transcends our circumstances.
Faith grows from knowing God.
God ever “let you down?” How did you respond? Would you respond that same way today?
What disappointments are you struggling with today?
How does it make you feel to know that Jesus had disappointments?
What verse or passage of Scripture do you turn to when you’ve experienced disappointment?