Fixing your anticipation on God’s Word is faith’s assurance of victory.
Text for Today – Hebrews 12:2 – Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Have you ever been promised something very special, but knew you had to wait for it for some length of time? As you waited, day-to-day, the event growing closer, the excitement grew as well. This is anticipation in a positive vain. Of course, it can work negatively, too. Think of how many people anticipate a trip to the dentist. Fear of something ahead causes negative anticipation. In both cases, anticipation can cause thoughts of the outcome to be greater, or of more dynamic nature, than the actual outcome. When outcome is less than the anticipated good, the result is disappointment. When outcome is less than the anticipated bad, the result is relief. With righteous anticipation, you need never fear. You see, God’s Word states its own outcome before you begin to anticipate.
Now here is a strong statement. The joy of obedience to God’s Word (ministry) comes first in anticipation. Otherwise, ministry becomes an exhausting endeavor rather than a life-giving labor of love. Have you ever entered into the performance of some task, not knowing the outcome, but having had some experience that would lead you to think the outcome would be anything but pleasing? I certainly have. In more than 51-years of ministry, with 28 of those years in pastoral work, I have been there on more than one occasion. In such situations, I had two basic choices. I could meditate upon a potential outcome that was, to say the least, less than edifying (that would be negative anticipation), or I could meditate upon what God’s Word says the outcome should be, which is always edifying and grace ministering (which is positive anticipation). Stop and think for a moment. Which one would the Lord choose for me? Of course, He would choose the one that edifies and ministers grace.
But you might say, “Brother Moorefield, be honest. The outcome could be negative.” Of course it could. But even if the outcome depended on flipping a coin, there’s just as good a chance that the outcome would be good, so why automatically choose the negative anticipation. You see, I know the Lord, and I know His Word. Hence, I know His will. Knowing that, I will opt for His thinking every time. That positive anticipation creates joy in my heart, and that joy of the Lord in my heart is the strength I need to stand strong in faith, even when it appears the outcome will be contrary to what I am believing. Then regardless of outcome, I have strength to go on living by faith, regardless of the situation. Ah, the joy of anticipation.
Manna for Today – Ephesians 3:20; Isaiah 55:11; Jeremiah 1:12; Luke 1:37 (Amplified Bible)