BLESSED ASSURANCE! EXPECTANT JOY!

If we knew and really believed there could be no one or not one thing on earth that could separate us from the love God has for us, would that change how we approach each day of living on earth?  Even today?

If we really believe that Jesus is coming back at any time of day or night, to get those who believe, love and follow Him and take us back with him to live with Him forever in the rooms He has been preparing for us, would that change how we begin today?  Would joy flood our souls with this expectant hope? 

Let me put this notion of expectant joy another way.  We are approaching that time when presents will be opened on Christmas Day as a way to honor the birth of our Savior, “God with us”, God’s gift of salvation to humanity.  Do we have as much expectant joy for Jesus’ return as children have for the gifts they will soon open on Christmas morning?  Multiply that joy times a million—to infinity and beyond!

Through good times and bad, Jesus is “God with us”.  If salvation of our souls wasn’t enough, God is not finished yet!  We live in expectant joy for the return of Christ to claim His own who believe, truly believe, in Him.  The Spirit of God is arousing us within.  God is ALSO expectantly joyful for what is coming next for us!  Friends, did you ever stop to realize that God is just as excited to see us as we are to see Him?  Yes!  Amen!

However, we are not good at waiting, so God provides His Spirit to help us…” the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along.”  When the hard times on earth get too hard for us to bear, God’s Holy Spirit steps in to give us the words of prayer that fail us in those moments of despair… “If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.”

If that wasn’t enough, God loves us with the same love He has for His Son, Jesus!  “He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son.”  What God starts in us, He completes through us.  He knows us by name.  He created us to worship, yes, but He also created us for purpose, unique to each one of us!  “After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.”

AND, don’t mess with what God is doing in each of us!  God is for us!  Hallelujah!  God knows what He is doing in us!  God knows you!  God knows me!  Warts and all, He knows what He is doing in us!  God will work ALL that happens around us and to us, in this world, the good and the bad, and create beauty from ashes.  “That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”  Our God is amazing like that!

BLESSED ASSURANCE/EXPECTANT JOY

Believers, we are His Chosen.  “And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us.” 

Oh, dear Friends, I don’t know about you, but in the hustle and bustle of preparing for Christmas, family gatherings, helping people, and preparing for Christmas Eve services to help others know and follow Jesus, I NEEDED to read and really understand once more the depth of God’s love for me and others who believe.  How about you?

Once more, like Paul, “I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

Take a beat, take a deep breath and breathe in these words of God’s assurance of His love for us.  May this season be filled with blessed assurance and expectant joy in you, through you and in your households.  God love us.  Let’s love each other like He loves us.  No matter what happens—love and grace wins.

ROMANS—OUR CARE AND CALLING

Romans 8:17-39, The Message

We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!

18-21 That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.

22-25 All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

26-28 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

29-30 God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.

31-39 So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

Lord,

Thank you for your blessed assurance that stirs our expectant joy of your return.  May your peace and confidence permeate all our lives as we live for you.

In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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