What is fear but the expectation of disaster?
We’ve been talking about overcoming the effects of this beast and, as I’ve mentioned before, I am reading the book Acres of Diamonds by Jentezen Franklin, looking for clues as to how to stop the tyranny of fear. Most recently, I was reading about the powerful effect of expectation in our lives.
Franklin focuses on the miraculous power of positive expectancy, but a case can be made for attracting negativity into our lives as well. Job, who suffered more catastrophes than most, said, “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me. And what I dreaded has happened to me” (Job 3:25). Though he loved and served God and was richly blessed, he was also constantly looking over his shoulder for disaster. He even made sacrifices to the Lord for his children “just in case” they messed up and might incur God’s wrath. Satan is said to be wandering the earth as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). Who’s to say Job’s nervous fear wasn’t the sign of weakness that brought him to the enemy’s attention as easy pickings?
In any case, I can testify to the results of positive expectation. This was much stronger in me at one point, and I intend to rebuild my faith in this area.
Several years ago, I needed a new refrigerator and acquired one for free as an award at work. The appliance was ordered through a catalog and was a beautiful side-by-side model. Unfortunately, I didn’t measure the space and compare it to the description, so when it arrived, it didn’t fit! What to do? It couldn’t be returned or exchanged.
I thought of selling it and using the money to purchase another, but decided to give it to a ministry that helped homeless folks get into permanent housing. They passed it on to a single mom setting up house. I sowed that refrigerator as a seed, trusting that God would supply me with another one that better fit my needs.
Shortly after that, someone broke into my office and stole an out-of-date computer and other electronic items. None of my work equipment was taken or damaged. As it turned out, I received just the amount from the insurance that I needed to purchase the perfect, heavily discount fridge I needed and lost nothing of any real value to me.
In another instance, someone stole my work backpack from my car. I was shocked because my expectation was that angels always protect me and my belongings. I decided to shrug it off because, at first, I thought it was no big loss. A few days later, I realized that there had been a few things in there that I really needed. I prayed and expressed my change of heart—I wanted my stuff back.
Within a day of my prayer, I found a note in my mailbox from a neighbor. She lived off a nearby alley and had seen a pile of stuff at the back of her property for several days and finally went to investigate. The backpack was not there but she found a stack of perfectly clean papers and the small, zipped bag that contained the implements I needed for my job. With the papers was the pay stub I had received the day of the loss with my name and address. Without this piece of the puzzle, she would not have known who to contact.
My favorite part of this story is that, as long as I was willing to let someone take what belonged to me, it was gone, but when I made a demand for it, it was returned. For it to have laid on the ground in the open for several days without being disturbed by the wind or animals was incredible and evidence to me that angels were watching out for me. Not forgetting the backpack–I got a much better one secondhand for a mere $5!
I’m sure you have stories you could tell of how God has come through for you in miraculous ways. Considering these things, why don’t we make victory and salvation our constant expectation rather than forecasting doom and gloom like Job? Even in the middle of negative situations such as my thefts, He can bring good things.
How has God come through for you?