For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.
What was Paul’s focus? It was preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ. The message of new life in Christ was Paul’s absolute focus. Paul had the expectation and hope that God was with him in every moment directing and empowering him to share the Gospel. God’s grace was sufficient in everything. Nothing had the power to deter Paul from God’s will. He had the earnest expectation and hope that no distraction or feeling or circumstance had any power to discredit his faith. He was bold in his faith because he allowed the fruit of his relationship with Christ to be bold in him. Paul knew who Christ was manifested in his life. Paul had assurance—he trusted—he expected God to magnify Himself in His life. He was willing to give all for the grace of Jesus to be known and alive in others.
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. He is the only one who makes all the difference in you. He is the only one who gives you a new life. It was you—knowing Christ and experiencing His grace—who was also Paul’s focus. Jesus Christ is the life Paul offered to you. Paul endured persecution for the sake of Christ so YOU could experience the fruit of your relationship with Jesus. Your expectation and hope make all the difference in how you live this new life.
Look at the phrase “according to my earnest expectation and hope” in Philippians 1:20.
You are expecting something in life whether you are aware of it or not. Look at your expectation as “soil” from which your life grows. A pessimist only expects a negative life. An optimist discovers something positive in every circumstance and thing that happens. If you fill your life with negative influences—negative thoughts—negative things, you will find yourself wrestling with negative expectations. If you dwell on the mistakes and sins of the past, you may be expecting more of the same in your future. Your attitude—your approach to life—is extremely powerful.
Your expectations are either based on God’s promises or on your fears and failures. Hope comes alive as a result of positive expectations. Hope in God’s promises can only grow from the “soil” of your positive expectations. Since faith is the substance of things hoped for (Hebrews 11:1), a negative approach to life can never inspire your faith to grow. Faith can only be inspired and exercised when positive expectations and hope are alive. Negative expectations are why so many Christians wrestle to experience a victorious life.
Expectation, hope, and faith spring from a promise God has made to you. These grow in your life from a seed that has been sown in your heart. Every promise of God activates your faith, and faith comes when you “hear” His Word in your heart (Romans 10:17). God does not lie. It is not God’s nature to lie. And God has designed seeds to multiply according to their nature. A farmer who plants seeds expects a harvest. A believer who sows God’s grace and His love into the lives of others can also expect a harvest. When you give, it will be given to you.
What do you expect in your life? What is the source of your attitude in life? If you are basing your life on God’s promises—if you believe you will reap a harvest from sowing His truth in your heart, you will without doubt live a life of faith. If you see everything through the eyes of a pessimist, you will be left to your own strength. You will experience a meager life when you could have had an abundant one.
Paul had the expectation, hope, and faith that the Holy Spirit would supply all his needs as he stepped out to share the message of grace so you could, also, plant the seed of God’s truth in your heart. So you, also, could choose to live by faith and not by sight. So you could, also, believe.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13).
© 2023 Lynn Lacher