28 The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.
As a Christian, there are things I hope in—things that I have not perfectly hoped in, but continue to learn to hope in. Hope, I believe in the KJV is a often a word that means “expectation.”
I expect that through the blood of the sacrifice of Jesus, I am counted as righteous before God, even when I have a problem with sin. Yet, I also expect to be strengthened over time by the Spirit so that I can overcome sin. As a former hell-bound child of this world and slave of Satan, I am redeemed and adopted as a son of God, bound for life everlasting. There is much to hope for in this.
As a former hell-bound child of this world and slave of Satan, I had competing expectations. Even once I put my faith in Jesus, I held competing expectations and I suspect I will always have to be on guard against these so long as I am in this corruptible body.
I have had expectations of growing in the things of this world. Though some measure of this is needful, especially when you have a family, there is an over-reach of expectation that is wicked because it is covetous, impatient, and can breed things like resentment, envy, pride, and fear. These lead to one outcome: death.
I have had expectations of failure, betrayal from those I love, and other fears. When fears over the things of this life overshadow fear of the Lord, I might find that these fears come upon me because I am not properly trusting in God—with His goodness being my expectation—even goodness that often does not seem good at the time.
The expectations or hope of the adopted son of God lead to one outcome: life. Even the fruits of the Spirit which bring life, and in the end, He who is life will call out to us when He returns, gather us to Him, and usher in His Kingdom—and we have the hope and expectation of ruling with Him, if we are faithful—and the great thing is that our faith is the gift of God, so we will be.
Every good expectation I have is hinged on one thing: grace.
It is by the grace of God that I trust in the sacrifice of Jesus, and it is by the grace of God that I would take that sacrifice seriously, learn to repent of sinful expectations, and hope in the promises of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
It is by the grace of God that I can obtain all things in Christ. We all bring forth fruit and we all inherit God’s kingdom according to the measure of grace we are given of God—so grace is what we seek after. Grace is what we trust in. Grace is also what we fear, because if God has a favored way, who can reply against it?
It is by the grace of God that our wicked expectations perish and the hope of the righteous becomes our aim, and we are made glad as we see this work done! Though the process of having our wicked expectations purged from us can mean troublous times, if the grace of God is for us, nothing can truly be against us.
So, despite what comes, we seek the grace of God with a repentant heart. God does not despise a broken, poor, and contrite spirit, as the scriptures say. God gives mercy to those who fear Him, as a father does a son, as the scriptures say.
I know it is hard to go through things that remove the world from you. Our faith is tried by fire, as the scriptures say. The Great Whore is tried by fire too—and I wonder how much of this relates to our brethren who need to be cleansed of wicked expectations.
I don’t know, but I know that I have in part related to her, and God was merciful to me. I know that I have been a child of Satan—a death-bound child of this world—and God redeems me by the blood and Spirit of Jesus Christ. If He can be so patient with me, one who is prone to teeter tottering back and forth as a fool, He can be so with anyone. It all comes down to grace, not our own ability or faithfulness. I know this first-hand.
I also know that no corruptible thing has place in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, and the good news is that He will remove all of these things. He will remove them from us over the course of our lives, and He will one day return to establish His Kingdom and overthrow the ways of this world and their wicked expectations once and for all.
This world expects to create their own version of heaven, to kill the servants of God and all who stand in their way. This world expects to overcome death through science, to enslave this world for their selfish gain, and to make themselves as God. Their expectation will bring their death, Even Death, and all who follow them will have death.
As a child of God, my hope is to find strength to resist—by the power of the Spirit and Word of God—both the wicked expectations of my own flesh and the wicked expectations of the powers of this world.
This hope is freedom. This hope is newness of life. This hope is praise and glory to God that brings a gladness no trouble or man can take! Despite sorrow—and we are wise to expect sorrow, because the Day of the Lord is darkness and not light—we can have peace, joy, and gladness.
The above proverb brings a passage to mind. I hope in a day, that is coming and is now, when certain expectations are “found no more at all” in me, in my brethren, and in this world. By the grace of God. What I refer to is the Great Whore of Mystery Babylon in Revelation 18.
To think that we were not once her children is foolish, I think. I was. However, I am also a child of the faithful church, redeemed from death and made into a son of God. So it is and will be for many Christians, if we are given the grace of God to repent and “come out of her.”
Note: I apologize for all of the typos in my writings. The only way to get these done is to get up early and write impromptu, without formal preparation. I do try to go back in as time allows to fix these errors. They are small and should not change the meaning of the text, though they can be annoying.
This is part of a series of articles considering the Proverbs from a Christian mindset and applying these lessons to present-day events. You can find all of the Considering Proverbs writings here. Subscribe to receive future posts by email.