Because it has happened to me several times, I believe you can hear from the Lord by watching for special words that “jump off the page” as you read the Bible.[i] This has happened to me for several of the Blogs on iworship423. Most recently, as I was reading Romans in the Message Translation, the words “adventurously expectant” jumped off the page for me. Here are the full verses that drew my attention.
“This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike ‘What’s next, Papa?” Romans 8:15-16, The Message.
The Reason for Expectancy
As elaborated later in Romans 8, this expectant attitude is “exactly what Christ went through.” We take a leap of faith and take on an adventurous attitude to wait on God and have hope for the future. We need this attitude currently in the USA and other nations of the world. There is a remnant of believers that expect good things to come soon. And they believe that the Lord wants us to continue the fight to spread the Gospel across the earth to those who have never heard of Jesus. Others feel that we should give up and believe that it is time for the Rapture. Should we be “adventurously expectant” at this time in history?
The other part of the Romans 8 scripture is the phrase, “What’s next, Papa?” This is a cry I have made to the Lord when I have been praying about the next step in moving into a new job or place of residence or for a concern about the future. My wife has also asked the Lord with the same phrase. So, we share any messages or ideas He gives to us. It has been a wonderful way to may a move “adventurously expectant!”
How I Found an Example of Being Expectant
A notable example of expectancy came to me while I was studying some of David Barton’s books on the true history of “The American Story, the Beginnings.”[ii] My goal was to teach the true history to a Home Group at our church. The hope is that, as the people attending learn about the true goodness of early America, they will spread the word to others, their children, and grandchildren. Why? Because there is a segment of the USA that is trying to “rewrite” our history,[iii] claiming that we were not a Christian nation with many evils. I hope to explain and provide evidence of the true history in a series of Blogs that will follow soon.
Here’s a “Wise Example” of an Expectant Attitude
One surprising fact about the founding of the thirteen original States of the USA was that Christian Ministers were very involved (1630 to 1730)[iv]. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Georgia were all founded by Christian pastors who purchased land from the local Indians.[v] There were 29 of 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence that had graduated from colleges we would consider Bible colleges today.[vi] One colorful pastor who influenced the founders was Rev. John Wise of Ipswich, Massachusetts.
The Wisdom of Rev. John Wise
Historians of the early days of the USA have rated Rev. John Wise as one of the top six most influential pastors concerning the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution[vii]. His sermons included statements like, “taxation without representation is tyranny,” “the consent of the governed,” and “all men are created equal.”[viii] These phrases found their way into the hearts of many of the Founding Fathers.
In terms of having courage to expect the possibility of a free country in America, Rev. Wise was a strong, tough, Bible studying, and unique thinker. He was known as an accomplished wrestler and a man of great physical strength. A ship Captain challenged him to a wrestling match and Wise tried to avoid it at first. But after many words of intimidation from the Captain, Wise went into action and lifted him up and threw him over his front yard wall. The, he threw the man’s horse over the wall as well! This is the type of grit that many of the founders of America had! This fits well into the idea of being adventurously expectant that victory is in sight!
Actions to Take
Do you face difficulties that seems impossible to overcome? We have been in many of these frustrating places, so we understand. Here’s a remedy that we have tried:
- Read Psalm 91 (and 121 on occasion)—the song of protection and safety. Try several translations like NKJV, the NIV, The Message, and the Passion Translation.
- Romans Chapter 8 and the “hope passages” Romans 5:1-4 and 15:13.
- Joshua 1:1-9 “Be of good courage and do not give up”
- Lamentations 3:21-26—Read in more than one translation if possible.
- Psalm 18:1 (in The Message or other translations)
And remember the strength of Rev. John Wise and that of King David. The book by Pastor Bill Johnson, “Strengthen Yourself in the Lord,” Destiny Image, 2015 is outstanding, explains more about David, and really helped me and my family.
Our prayers go with you!
Pastor G. Harold
[i] The version of the Bible, whether New or original King James KJV, NKJV, New International Version NIV, The Message, TM, The Passion Translation TPT, New Living Translation NLT, the Amplified Bible AB, or any of the numerous others.
[ii] David Barton and Tim Barton, The American Story: The Beginnings,” Wall Builder Press, Aledo, TX, 2020.
[iii] Steven Morris, “America’s Unchristian Beginnings,” New York Times, (August 3, 1995) B-9. James Watkins, “Were United States Founding Fathers Christian? Hope and Humor” (May 25, 2020), www.jameswatkins.com/articles-2.
[iv] Barton and Barton, Page 155.
[v] Barton and Barton, Pages 65-73, 85-90.
[vi] Barton and Barton, Page 155.
[vii] Barton and Barton, Page 92 (also source of the wrestler story)
[viii] John Wise, A Vindication (Boston, John Boyles, 1772). David Mears, Oberlin Lectures, (Oberlin, Goodrich, 1892.