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How Dare God!

Arrogance Grace Expectations

Source: Daily Guideposts, January, 1991, p. 30

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-07-19

Scripture: Ephesians 2:8

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

According to Daily Guideposts,

“Louis XIV was one of France’s greatest kings.  Known as the Sun King for the brilliance of his court, he saw his armies make France the most powerful country of its time.  He was not without losses, however.  When he received the news of his crushing defeat by the English at Blenheim, he purportedly proclaimed, “How could God do this to me?  After all I have done for Him!” 

APPLICATION

Honestly, have you ever asked this question?  It probably didn't seem as absurd when it was you doing the wondering, right? But don't forget that it is by grace that you have been saved, which means you really don't deserve it. Nevertheless, God has giving you all things, freely.  Also, remember that your devotion is to be a reflection of that same grace. That means there can be no strings attached on your part, as well.  

So, the next time you begin to wonder why God isn't reciprocating for all that you've done for Him, remember grace!

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8).

Letting Go Of Your Expectations

Expectations Church/Body of Christ God's Sovereignty

Source: "The Broken Arrow"

Contributed By: Janet Malone | Date Posted: 2017-05-03

Scripture: Romans 8:28

Author: Janet Malone
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ILLUSTRATION

The first time I watched John Travolta in the movie, “Broken Arrow,” I had a difficult time following the plot because I was used to seeing him in comedies, like “Look Who’s Talking." Then he pulled out a gun on his friend and forced him to eject from a jet plane over the desert. I finally came to the conclusion that he had to be a bad guy, something I was not expecting. This so took me by surprise that I had to rewind the movie and start over again to see the movie as it was, not as I expected it to be.

APPLICATION

Our preconceived notions can prevent us from seeing what God is really up to.  We can miss what is right “before our eyes” and find ourselves continually "dissatisfied, impatient, angry, dismayed or disgusted”(ibid). When this happens, what we need to do is rewind and start over again, viewing the church through the eyes of a faith that believes that God can cause all things, even the flaws of the church, to "work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them" (Romans 8:28).

What Difference Does Prayer Make?

Prayer Expectations Spiritual Growth

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-01-04

Scripture: Matthew 6:33

Author: Mitchell Dillon
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ILLUSTRATION

When a Christian prays, three things might happen: He might get what he prays for, he might not get what he prays for, or he might have to wait. Similarly, when a non-religions person hopes for something, three things might happen: He might get what he hopes for, he might not get what he hopes for, or he might have to wait.

To the casual observer, there doesn’t seem to be a difference between them. This doesn’t go unnoticed by the non-religious person, who concludes that faith doesn’t really make a difference. He assumes that life is really just a matter of creating one's own opportunities and a little rolling of the dice. If he gets what he hopes for, it’s good fortune. If he doesn’t get what he hopes for, it’s bad fortune. If he has to wait for what he hopes for, it’s an inconvenience.

The Christian, on the other hand, has a decidedly different response to the three possible answers to his prayers. If he gets what he prays for, it becomes an occasion of praise and thanksgiving as he recognizes, not good fortune, but God’s continued provision in his life. If he doesn’t get what he prays for, rather than become discouraged, he finds contentment in the assurance that God has something better in mind. Finally, if he has to wait for what he prayed for, he enters a period of leaning on and trusting God in the situation, believing that it will be resolved in God’s timing.

APPLICATION

So, what difference did prayer make? Did faith provide the believer with more stuff than his non-religious counterpart? Who ends up with more stuff isn’t really the point of prayer, but who ends up with more of God. God doesn’t want the search for more stuff to be our motive for seeking Him. Rather, He wants us to come to Him because we want more of Him!

When we commune with God over the events of our life, we gain rewards that are far greater than any of the stuff people seek. More God means a life filled with more praise, more thanksgiving, more contentment and more faith. The non-religious person places little value on these virtues, so he wrongly concludes that prayer doesn't really make a difference. By contrast, the Christian understands that these are the real treasures in life, the things that make for a truly blessed life, and that it was prayer that made it all possible.

[If] God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need" (Matthew 6:30-33).

Scientists Devise Equation for Happiness

Happiness Blessings/Blessedness Expectations

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-05-27

Scripture: John 16:33

Author: Illustration Exchange
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The Final Frontier

Expectations Uncertainty Spiritual Life

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-01-21

Author: Oswald Chambers / Illustration Exchange
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Evil Ascends

Evil Humility Expectations

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-01-15

Scripture: 1 Peter 4:12

Author: Robert J. Morgan / Illustration Exchange
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Avoiding Disappointment With God

Forgiveness Expectations Disappointment

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-09-20

Author: Larry Crabb / Illustration Exchange
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Grasping Spider Web Steeplejack Falls to His Death

False Hope Worldly Mindset Expectations

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-03-27

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 2:11

Author: Dr. James Merritt/Illustration Exchange
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Headlines In Heaven

Reward Motivation Expectations

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-01-12

Author: Kent Crockett
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The Ideal Pastor

Ministry Stewardship Expectations

Contributed By: Stephen Kingsley | Date Posted: 2012-12-04

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:18

Author: Stephen Kingsley
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