All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation…
1 Peter 1:3, NLT*
Peter’s talking about new life in Christ, and along with this “great expectation” we’re to live with, he speaks of our future hope of Heaven. Since he mentions these separately, I think the expectation is for the daily here-and-now.
I’ve been impacted by the invitation to become more aware of the presence of God, exemplified by Brother Lawrence and Frank Laubach. It’s a slow progress for me, with more forgetting than remembering. The key, says Brother Lawrence, is to simply turn back to God in prayer, acknowledging the lapse, and start afresh with Him.
This is the sort of prayer we can expect God to answer. Of course He wants to draw us closer to Himself. That’s the Gospel. And He has great patience in the drawing.
I think part of this great expectation Peter mentions is expecting God to be with us. This isn’t excited anticipation of a specific event, but a security, a calm trust.
What else might we expect, thinking of His presence?
- Wisdom and guidance, not usually via angelic messenger, but as we quiet our spirits in submission to Him, He will communicate His leading.
- Protection, of our souls, even if He allows our hearts and bodies to experience hurt.
- Comfort, because He is with us and loves us.
- Opportunities to serve Him through the people around us… and the strength to do so.
- Insights and spiritual growth, as we rely on His grace and learn to see as He sees.
God of all grace and mercy, thank You for bringing us into relationship with Yourself and for Your promise to never leave or abandon us. Your patience and love are beyond any limits we could imagine. Help us to grow in faith, and teach us to rely more and more on Your presence.
With the phrasing the NLT gives our focus verse, what better song could I leave us with than Steven Curtis Chapman‘s “Great Expectations“?
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.