January 15, 2009

High Expectations?

I was pondering the misery and disappointments that many of my loved ones have experienced during their lifetime. I was pondering their reactions to these miseries and disappointments. For whatever reason (while I was pondering these things) I recalled the lyrics of a country western song that I had heard as a young child. These few lines had a huge impact on me back then and I believe that God used that silly secular country western song to speak truth into my heart in preparation for my own walk with Him later in life which began at the age of 35. Take a listen:

I beg your pardon
I never promised you a rose garden
Along with the sunshine
There's gotta be a little rain sometime
When you take you gotta give
So live and let live and let go oh oh oh oh

I could promise you things
Like big diamond rings
But you don't find roses growin' on stalks of clover
So you better think it over

Well, if sweet talking you could make it come true
I would give you the world right now on a silver platter
But what would it matter?

"Ah, my reader, if you are one of God's elect--do not expect a smooth and easy path through this earthly wilderness--but be prepared for varying circumstances and drastic changes. The Christian's resting place is not in this world, for "here have we no continuing city" (Hebrews 13:14).

The Christian is a "pilgrim," on a journey; he is a "soldier," called on to fight the good fight of faith. The more this is realized, the less keen will be the disappointment, when our ease is disturbed, and our outward peace harshly broken in upon. "Many are the afflictions of the righteous," and if 'troubles' do not come to us in one form--they most certainly will in another!

If we really appropriate this promise--then we shall not be so staggered when afflictions come upon us. It is written that, "it is necessary to pass through many troubles on our way into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22), and therefore we should make up our minds to expect the same, and to "not to think it strange" (1 Peter 4:12) when we are called upon to pass through "the fiery trial." Affliction, tribulation, and fiery trial--are a times, our portion here on earth."

A.W. Pink

When I am faced with disappointments or place my expectations in others, I often feel that God is saying to me, "I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, all men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever. I have made My light shine in your heart to give you the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. Stop placing your expectations in this worlds gardens. I have given you the "Rose of Sharon" and it is in His Garden where all your expectations will be met.

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