Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ or not. Luke 3:15
The people that went to hear John the Baptist’s message were expectant. Before they ever got there, they were hopeful. These people had been watching for centuries for Messiah to come. When John began ministering, many of them thought maybe he was the One. They came out to hear him expecting signs and they were set on being delivered from their oppression. The Hebrew people held on to the promises of God, knowing that He had kept His promises in the past and He would fulfill all He promised to at this point in time.
Of course, we know now that John was not the One, but he was the one preparing the way for Jesus to begin ministering publicly. Now, after so long, the expectation was high in the people. This is actually the first recorded time in the Bible that people were expecting the Messiah to come. Maybe it was because of the Roman oppression they were under or maybe it was just because they were discerning the times as the scriptures said they should. What ever the case, at that time their expectations were high, and they were full of hope.
This is where we should be today. We should be going through our lives with high expectations and full of hope. What?!! In the mess that the world is in, how can we have any expectation except for things to continue to get worse? This is where perspective and faith comes to rescue us. We are God’s people, and even though the circumstances around us look bleak, it is still His story. He is the One who created it all and He is the One that is at work through it all, the good and the bad. He is not making bad things happen, but He is working in the hearts of people to draw them to the truth of His love for them.
This is where our hope needs to be, and this is where we have great expectations. God has promised and already made the provision to deliver us from every oppression of the enemy. He has already made a way for us to walk closely to Him and protected in His provision of love. His promise for salvation from eternal separation and punishment has been secured for us in the blood of Jesus, our Savior. We better get our hopes up because that is what faith is made of. Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is the substance of things we have been hoping for and faith is what brings the unseen answer into the visible world.
Hope is what faith is built on. This isn’t blind hope or blind faith, it is hope in God’s Word and hope in God’s promises. We have high expectations that God is working all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called to His purpose because He said He would in His word. (see Romans 8:28) Our hopes are high because we have seen God work in our lives in the past and bring us through to victory over and over again. So, the next time you are feeling discouraged about the circumstances around you, build up your hope by meditating a promise from scripture instead of meditating on the problem and rehearsing past triumphs that He has already given to you.
Today I want to encourage you to take a step back from what ever you are going through to get a big picture perspective. Recognize God’s hand in your life and start expecting good things to happen around you and to you! Believe God’s promises to you and start filling up your life and heart with the things He wants to accomplish in your life. If you are not sure what they are, spend some time talking to Him about that and ask Him to lead you to scripture that points in that direction. Ask Him to bring peace in any area you are struggling in right now through remembering past successes not failures. Press in and listen to the promptings and urging the Holy Spirit is putting in your heart. Then write them down so that when your hope is low you can go back and reinforce that expectation in the promises you already received. Get your expectation high and keep them there by trusting and believing that God will do what He already said He will. In that way when you are under pressure, those promises will be squeezed out of you because that is what you have been saturated in.
Today’s scripture reading: Luke 3:15-20
15 Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ or not,
16 John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
17 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”
18 And with many other exhortations he preached to the people.
19 But Herod the tetrarch, being rebuked by him concerning Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done,
20 also added this, above all, that he shut John up in prison.