Raise Your Expectations of God
“Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV)
God works in people’s hearts when we expect him to do so.
Before each service at Saddleback Church, I pray, “God, it would be a waste of time to go out there and talk to those people without expecting you to do something. So I’m going to thank you in advance for changing lives. I expect it to happen in faith. Not because of who I am, but because of who you are.” That is the faith that God uses to change lives.
Very few people come to Jesus Christ the first time they hear the Good News. They’ve got to think about it and take the time to make the right decision.
Never give up on anybody. Nobody’s hopeless! You have to trust God. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (NIV).
Some of you have been praying for some time for your boyfriend or your child or a close friend to become a believer. You’ve been praying for years, and yet you don’t see any evidence that they’re any closer in their journey to God than they were five years ago or two years ago or last year.
What do you need to do? You need to start praying in faith, expecting God to act. Faith is certain of what we do not see. You need to say to God, “I don’t see them warming up to you at all. But I’m going to pray and expect that you’re working in their lives, even when I can’t see it.”
Remember the story in the Bible of the four guys who had a friend who was paralyzed? They believed Jesus could heal their friend, so they put him on a mat and took him to Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven” (Luke 5:20b), and he healed the man.
Jesus healed the paralyzed man on the basis of the friends’ faith, not the guy who was sick. Sometimes you have to believe in faith for other people and expect God to act. Put a little faith in a big God, and you’ll get big results.
Talk It Over
- For whom have you been praying to become a believer? How do you need to change your expectations or the way you’ve been praying for that person?
- What do you want God to accomplish through your life? How can you show God your gratefulness in advance for how he will work in your life?
- What are the things that you cannot see that you need assurance for today?
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