Sunday, March 12, 2006

How to Develop Solid Expectation

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. (1 John 5:14-15)
We can have confidence in God, that when we ask anything according to His will, He hears us and will grant what we ask. This is solid expectation — but where does it come from? How can we know what the will of God is? Consider Paul’s words to the church at Rome:
But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach … So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:6-8, 17)
In this context, Paul is speaking about the will of God as the “righteousness of faith.” That, in essence, is what the will of God is always about. And it is not hard to know what the will of God is. We don’t have to die and go to heaven or pass through hell on earth before we can discover it. God has already revealed it, very simply. It is close by, “in your mouth and in your heart.” It is the “word of faith.” For, as Paul adds, faith comes by hearing the Word of God. That is where we discover the will of God.

We often think of the will of God as something we must learn to resign ourselves to, as if it were some terrible burden. But the will of God is His delight, desire and purpose for you and the world. It is not a negative thing, but a very good and positive thing. Consider the word the Lord delivered through Jeremiah to the people of Israel in the midst of their captivity in Babylon:
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me, and I will listen to you. (Jeremiah 29:11-12)
No matter what your need or circumstance, God has made some wonderful promises to you concerning it. His great desire for you is peace, to give you a future and a hope — solid expectation! Here is how you can develop that expectation:
  • Get into the Word of God and begin learning His heart.
  • Make note of those Scriptures which speak particularly to your situation.
  • Let these Scriptures fill your heart and stir up your faith.
  • Let them fill your mouth, also, declaring and decreeing the will of God over your life.
  • Then ask God whatever you desire, according to His will, knowing that He not only hears you, but that He will give you what you ask.
God desires the very best for you—peace and wholeness, a future and a hope. You can know His wonderful will for your life, ask Him to fulfill it, and have a solid expectation that it will be done.