There was a report recently of a passenger’s angst when his budget flight was delayed for almost 24 hours. The airline compensated with a voucher that according to that stranded passenger, “couldn’t even be enough for a bowl of noodles”. His expectation of being compensated adequately was severely dampened. How do we manage our expectation?
Expectation is founded on personal perception of what he or she feels is just and adequate. It varies with individuals.
On the other hand, hope is based on principles of truths and the certainty of realisation. Timing may be out of one’s hands and as such, persistent and patient waiting is required. The writer of Hebrews tells us that, “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb 11;1). Hope has to be accompanied with faith: a trust and total reliance on someone who will make things hoped for come true.
A visit to the Western Wall (some called it the wailing wall) at Jerusalem will reveal the faith of the many Orthodox Jews gathered there to pray and to read the Scriptures. No doubt, their faith in waiting for the coming of the Messiah sustained them and motivated them to look forward to that blessed event. Their entire life hinges on that hope.
As we continue our celebration of the coming of the Messiah at Christmas, has our hope been realised or are we still being expectant of something else?
If our hope is realised, there are signs to show for it. Isaiah tells us in 40:9 that when God’s promise in His Word is fulfilled, “we should go up to a high mountain and shout out loud to others, ‘Behold your God!’” The reliability of God’s promise calls for wholehearted and fearless proclamation by faith. The Jewish exiles according to Isaiah will surely return to the Promised Land where the Messiah will appear.
What that means in our daily lives if our Messiah has already come is how we live our lives. It should reveal that the hope for the coming of the Messiah has arrived! It shall be seen in our actions and our attitude. Every word said, every act performed should be that loud shout that says, “Behold your God!”
This revelation requires intentional action on our part. We must never leave it to the whims and fancies of the world that carries us along as the wind blows.
D.A. Carson once wrote: People don't drift towards holiness, they drift toward compromise and call it tolerance, and drift toward disobedience and call it freedom.
Are you living the realisation of the blessed hope or are you drifting about expecting the coming of the Messiah?