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No Surprise - A Devotion

No Surprise

Psalm 27:13-14 (AMP)
[What, what would have become of me] had I not believed that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living! Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.

It finally came. After months of waiting, countless calls, endless prayers, the call that I have been expecting and hoping happened. As the nice lady on the phone began to speak, I melted. I had envisioned this day and how I would react. Would I be at the gym? Jump off the elliptical and run like a crazy person shouting? I am embarrassed to admit the many times I have seen this clearly in my head. Would I be in the car and have to pull over to the side of the road? Would I be in my house, at work or where? I knew it would come but didn’t know when or where. I was on a walk around the campus at work. The cold harsh winter that gave way to a rainy season had now yielded amazing sunshine with a gentle breeze so a friend and I had taken a break to stroll around for a bit. When the phone rang and the hospital number popped up on the screen, I didn’t really think much about it. Since January, I have talked to these people almost weekly. They have worked tirelessly to find a way to get the treatment our son needs despite multiple denials and rejections by the insurance company. It just seemed like a routine follow-up on an ordinary day. As she spoke her words washed over me like rain, all I heard is that the initial evaluation for bone marrow transplant was approved. She quickly explained that this did not cover the entire procedure but the workup to determine if he could sustain and survive the treatment. Our family has been through so much, she was quite thorough in her explanation. But her words just fell like droplets all around me, as I began to take in what she was actually saying and my soul was satisfied.

I realized in that moment that I was not surprised. I believed that I would see the Lord’s Goodness in the land of the living! But this my friend is not the goodness of the God that I serve, but rather one more step toward that fulfillment. See my God wants to see my son healed and fully restored. But that’s not all, He wants to see every person involved in this process saved and set free by the Power of Jesus Christ. No, I knew Jesus was coming though now sure how and when. My soul rejoiced in the moment. I even shed a few tears. But the Lord did not settle me there to stay in that moment but such a small victory encourages me more to press on to the finish line of faith because we are expected to win so I expect it. We have a hope that tells me when we cross the finish line of faith that Eternity waits for us to capture us fully in His Love forever. We can be brave and of good courage not because we have been approved by man but through the success of our faith. We did not give up but endured. He met us right where He said He would be right when He was supposed to be there. I am not surprised but thrilled to know the faithfulness and unfailing love of God that will allow us to see His Goodness in the land of the living both now and forevermore.

Psalm 62:5-8 (AMP)
My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him; for my hope and expectation are from Him. He only is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Defense and my Fortress, I shall not be moved. With God rests my salvation and my glory; He is my Rock of unyielding strength and impenetrable hardness, and my refuge is in God! Trust in, lean on, rely on, and have confidence in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us (a fortress and a high tower). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

Faith in God is never a gamble. Expectation and hope are safe in the Presence of God. Faith is an investment that yields high returns but you will not collect interest on nothing. Words mean little when it comes to what we believe. Faith in God is demonstrated in our attitude and actions every single day of our life. We must live intentionally to partner with the Lord to see His Outcomes in our life. His Faithfulness is never in question, but ours hangs in the balance. Faced with choices each day and options related to our freedom in Jesus Christ, it is completely up to us whether we live in constant expectation or are overtaken by the element of surprise. You can see the predetermined outcome of faith in every situation. His Word tells us in detail what to expect from the Lord. It shows us how to live to get it. Faith is not blind. It is not deaf. In fact, faith comes by hearing the Word of God. We hear God’s Word but do we believe it? To wait on the Lord – to wait only on God is surrendering our way to have His Way – how it comes, when it comes. Faith in God is demonstrated when we begin to transfer our needs, wants and desires from the things of this world to hopeful expectation in the Lord. We must trust in, lean on, rely on and have full confidence in the Lord. You can expect longer than usual wait times as He teaches us patience and endurance that will hold out for His Best even when presented many other possible options. His Spirit lives inside of us guiding and directing us to do His Will, find His Way and live according to His Word. This allows the “yes” and “amens” to become a reality in our life. (2 Corinthians 1:20) Not because we force God to be faithful but have decided to be faithful. Faith is not ignorant but an informed choice to trust the Lord above all others. The trouble is we don’t think about it. Perhaps, it is time to pause and calmly think about it. (Selah)

I Corinthians 15:34 (AMP)
Awake [from your drunken stupor and return] to sober sense and your right minds, and sin no more. For some of you have not the knowledge of God [you are utterly and willfully and disgracefully ignorant, and continue to be so, lacking the sense of God’s presence and all true knowledge of Him]. I say this to your shame.

My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6) Ignorant faith yields nothing. It’s like scattering seed on the cement. It’s not going to grow no matter how much you hope and expect it to. You can even water it but it will not sprout. It’s just going to die there even though locked inside was the potential to grow and purpose to prosper. We want God, but our way. We want His Blessings in our disobedience. We have the audacity to live contrary to the Word of God and still expect the Will and Way of God. That’s just silly and yes, ignorant. You cannot change the character of God. He is the great I am. Why would you try? Look at where our will and way have gotten us. I cannot reach the west coast heading east. It would be foolishness to head east arriving at the Atlantic Ocean and get mad because I am not on the shores of the Pacific. Welcome to the life of most Christians. They have unrealistic expectations based on a lack of knowledge. Hope and expectation are empowered by knowledge of God and intimacy with Jesus Christ. You will never have your way with God. It is His Way! If you want God’s Glory in your life, then you must live your life in the Presence of God. But be warned such a deep and abiding knowledge of God through Jesus Christ takes away the element of surprise because rather than thinking He might come – you know that He will!

Lamentations 3:20-24 (AMP)
My soul has them continually in remembrance and is bowed down within me. But this I recall and therefore have I hope and expectation: It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness. The Lord is my portion or share, says my living being (my inner self); therefore will I hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him.

My response when the call came yesterday did surprise me. I thought that I would shout and run, but I didn’t. The world around me became a blur and all I could think was “I knew You would come.” Hope and expectation by faith had given way to anticipation but not for an approval but to see the Lord move. He did. I was in awe. I think what moves me about the Lord the most is that even though He knows that I am going to mess up over and over that He insists on providing me His Very Best. He knows my heart inside and out. I love Him. I will serve Him every day of my life because I have seen His Goodness firsthand. This was not the result of one trip to an altar. Man did not teach me who the Lord is or what He does. My situation did not force me to my knees thought I have found myself there. God is not punishing me or teaching me a lesson in the sickness of my child. My Father is trying to fill my life with all the good things that He promised to give me as His Child. His Mercy meets me each morning to make sure that I am ready to receive. His Loving-Kindness tells me that I can have it because of His Unfailing Love and not my failing version of love. His Compassion for me is overwhelming. Great and Abundant is HIS FAITHFULNESS. It is big enough to support us if I will just get on board putting all my faith and hope in the Lord. We do not give our life to the Lord year by year or even day by day. We give ourselves to God moment by moment and expect His Goodness and Unfailing Love to reach us not because we are consistently faithful but He is!

Romans 9:33 (AMP)
As it is written, Behold I am laying in Zion a Stone that will make men stumble, a Rock that will make them fall; but he who believes in Him [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] shall not be put to shame nor be disappointed in his expectations.

Jesus Christ is the foundation of faith that yields hope. He is our fulfillment. If you believe in Him, adhere to, trust in and rely on Jesus Christ for EVERYTHING – you will never be put to shame or disappointed in your expectation. Transferring every facet of our life by faith to Jesus Christ expecting Him to do something with it will produce prosperity as the Lord fulfills His Purpose for your life which is blessing, promises and inheritance of every that God has predestined and prepared for you to have. It is more than we can think of or ask for. So rather than telling the Lord what we need – we just need to tell the Lord that we trust Him to do His Very Best. Now you will not be surprised when He meets your needs, heals your body as His Glory floods your life because you knew that He would come!

I Corinthians 13:13 (AMP)
And so faith, hope, love abide [faith—conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things; hope—joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love—true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love.

It’s funny that the idea of this devotion did not come to me after the call came yesterday but on my way to work, the Holy Spirit began speaking to me about hopeful expectation. The little notepad read – Not Surprised – Expectation changes perspective – Earthly outcomes are no surprise – Lack of knowledge is the problem. So you see my perspective did not change after I got the call that we were “approved” – it changed in the days and months before when I gave the Lord my fears, doubts, and disappointments releasing them in exchange for a place on the watchtower to wait for Him to come and He did. Our son will live and not die but that was what He told me already. I have just decided to believe what the Lord said over what man keeps telling me. I will hold his child in my arms one day as a proud grandmother even though have called his seed curse, I believe that God has called him blessed. As for my gentle, quiet giant, he is not moved by the approval – his eyes are on the finish line. He is ready for the words – “healed”, “whole” and “in full remission.” Our life is about faith, hope and love. These three things last forever even when our body fails, people let us down and all seems lost. If we can just hold on to our faith, remain constant in hope and love in the meantime – we will never be disappointed. Delays will not stop us. Detours will not stop us. No weapon formed against us will prosper, but as our soul prospers so will we!

Proverbs 23:17-19 (AMP)
Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord all the day long. For surely there is a latter end [a future and a reward], and your hope and expectation shall not be cut off. Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your mind in the way [of the Lord].

Faith is the substance of what we hope for. Do you have faith today? Is it well-placed? Jesus Christ is the only one worthy of such an investment. He is the only one that can give you access to the Presence of God where you will find His Glory. He sent you some new mercy this morning so don’t be afraid to go get it. Expect God’s Very Best according to His Word which tells you exactly what to expect. When you align your expectations with the Lord, you will never be let down. He has higher expectations for you than you do. So you are not compromising but setting a higher standard of living for your life. People are not your problem but give you an opportunity to spread God’s Love while you wait. Do not envy those who are blessed but choose to continue to be a blessing. Expecting something from people is misplaced expectation that produces unrealistic anticipation. Expectation is nothing more than an attitude of hope which is directly impacted by our faith. Is your faith secure today in the Love of God through Jesus Christ? If it is, then life will not be a surprise any more. You will anticipate God’s Arrival in your situation preparing the way for Him to come. We still have a long way to go, but so do you. We must continue to be reverent and worshipful serving the Lord every single day. This means never ever giving up. God is telling you today not to give up, keep going, press on – he is coming. He is not delayed. Don’t be surprised if by the end of this day you see His Face or experience His Glory – I did when I decided not to be surprised.

Hebrews 3:14 (AMP)
For we have become fellows with Christ (the Messiah) and share in all He has for us, if only we hold our first newborn confidence and original assured expectation [in virtue of which we are believers] firm and unshaken to the end.

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