What do you expect?
Some ‘experts’ tell us that our disappointments may be caused by false expectations that we set for ourselves. As the saying goes, God is never late but rarely early in bringing salvation. Ephesians 3.20 (Amplified Bible, 2015) states that God may even do more than we expect! But, persecution from the world is one thing that Jesus said we should expect (John 15.18).
It’s not about being fair, as some may object. It is about answering correctly when each person will be asked by God: why should I let you into My Heaven? A ‘relative’ world would like for any answer to satisfy, but our ‘absolute’ God will listen for only one Word, “Jesus” (John 3.16 & 14.6)! This contrast is one way to express the sin of our fallen nature. We want to be god (Genesis 3.4-5; Romans 1.20-23; Colossians 2.8)!
Jesus discusses the world’s hatred for Himself and for us in John 15.18-27. Verses 26 & 27are His point: we are to testify to the world about what we have seen and heard (resulting from Matthew 28.19-20; 2 Timothy 2.2). You and I are the spiritual progeny of those who taught us about forgiveness of sin through Jesus’ blood (Hebrews 9.22-28 & 10.11-14), eternal life through His name (John 14.6), and temporal salvation through our faith in His power (Luke 10.17 & 19, Acts 3.16 & 4.12; Psalm 138.2c [NASB]; Romans 15.19; 1 Corinthians 4.20).
The apostles with whom Jesus is speaking in John 15.18-27—at the end of their training and pending deployment—had been warned about what they should expect—at the beginning of their basic training after selection, in Matthew 10.16-42. He was not stating what might possibly happen; Jesus was stating the reality that the deployed apostles would face. Perhaps, Luke 10.1-12 was such an experience as part of their training.
You ARE a problem to the world! Jesus points this out in John 15.18-19 and Matthew 10.34-36 (quoting Micah 7.6). Apostle Paul reminds us of this reality in 2 Corinthians 2.15-16: we remind antagonists that they are dead in their trespasses and sins! We may not have to say a word, but simply live out righteousness before them.
However, this is the purpose for which you and I were chosen! We have been “chosen out of the world” (John 15.19) “so that you may proclaim the excellencies [the wonderful deeds and virtues and perfections] of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2.9). Paul describes this as Jesus’ choice for him in Acts 26.16-18.
This very purpose was what Jesus said to the first apostles, in Matthew 10.7-8, and the reality which they acknowledge in Luke 10.17: “’Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.’” This is our testimony to the world: the name “Jesus” (Psalm 138.2c; Acts 16.31)! Jesus assures us that the Holy Spirit will “testify and bear witness” through us (John 15.26; Matthew 10.19-20).
Rest assured that God will only send you into skirmishes with demons over which you have sufficient power by faith in the name “Jesus” (Hebrews 5.14). With each victory, you will “grow [spiritually mature] in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3.18). Thus, you will look more like Jesus to the world (Ephesians 4.13-16). You will breakdown satan’s strongholds (2 Corinthians 10.4-6; Jeremiah 1.9-10)!
There are several stories in the Bible of people who expected and experienced victory over their enemies. What do you learn from each of the following?
1 Samuel 17:45-46: David defeats Goliath at Elah.
Judges 15.14-16: Samson assaults the Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey.
Judges 7.1-25: especiallyverses 2-7, 19-22: Gideon’s 300 routs the Midianite and Amalekite invaders.
Luke 10.1-19: especiallyverses 17: Jesus’ disciples subjugate demons who are harming people.
Hebrews 11.32-34: additional illustrations of victory.
Revelation 12.1-12: you are saved eternally by Jesus’ blood sacrifice for sin; you are saved temporally by the powerful word of your testimony; that is, ‘Jesus’ (Psalm 103.20)! 2 Corinthians 10:4-6! Philippians 2:9-11!
2 Corinthians 12.10: Paul’s summary understanding.
John 16.33: Jesus’ assurance of victory in His name!
2 Corinthians 2.14 is what you should expect! After all, Philippians 2.9-11 is true: “at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow [in submission], of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess and openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord (sovereign God), to the glory of God the Father” (my emphasis)!
What do you expect? 190407 (* = update 190414)
Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2019. www.sozoclass.com.