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Series Theme:  "Faith Sermons"




















































Title:  17. Living with Expectations - Despite!


Reading : Psa 13 : 5


1. Recap about expectations from last week 

•  Expectations are a normal part of life

•  Realistic expectations are built on past facts

•  Biblical expectations are built on God's faithfulness

•  When He speaks it is as good as done.

•  When we are born again we enter a life that is supernatural, God empowered, changing and fruitful

•  We are to live in the light of these expectations


2. Introduction

Yet, often in the Christian life, we struggle with difficult circumstances

•  “It is often in our darkest times that God makes His presence known most clearly. He uses our sufferings and troubles to show us that He is our only source of strength.” (Anon)

•  “Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all...As long as matters are really hopeful, hope is mere flattery or platitude; it is only when everything is hopeless that hope begins to be a strength.” G. K. Chesterton

•  Psa 13:5   But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.

•  David has come to a place in life where he has learned to trust the Lord, i.e. the Lord can be relied upon. 

• 1 Sam 17:37 “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine."

•  He knew that he had experienced God's enabling in the past and that could be relied upon for the present.

•  Keep that in mind in what follows shortly

•  So too, in this present psalm, he is able to have this confident assurance (trust) that God will always be there for him.

•  Rom 8:28 we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him .

•  This is the NT equivalent

•  We're going to observe expectations of godly men in the face of circumstances that are brought by:

•  our own fault
•  Satan's attack
•  other people's sin



3. Our own fault – Jonah - a mistaken perspective


a) Jonah's Circumstances (Jonah 2:1-10)

•  Jonah was a prophet on the run - he had a wrong perspective about God

•  Instead of simple repentance he considered he needed to be judged

•  So he had himself thrown overboard

•  God allows him to be swallowed by a big fish – salvation but not obvious

•  Humanly this is the nearest thing to hell on earth you can find

•  Humanly there is no future for him.

•  But he prays


b) Jonah's Expectation

•  v.4   I said, `I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.'

•  He realised (v.3) that he was where he was by God's dealing with him, yet deep down he knows he can trust the Lord

•  Somehow he knows God has not given up on him

•  The ‘holy temple' he refers to is heaven (v.7)

•  He may die but he WILL see God – he has that assurance.

•  If the ‘holy temple' in v.4 was the temple in Jerusalem this an even greater assurance


c) A Conclusion

•  In repentance we can rest secure in the midst of whatever crisis is going on – even if it is brought on by our own folly.

•  The ‘credit crunch' is a genuine crisis, a genuine pressure for many, but in Christ we can be secure that

•  He is with us (never will He leave us – Heb 13:5) and
•  He is working for us (Rom 8:28 )

•  Our security is in those two expectations.


4. Satanic attack – Job - a partial perspective


a) Job's Circumstances

•  Job is suffering

•  his ‘friends' tell him it is because he is a sinner

•  he doesn't know it but it is simply God glorifying him

•  his pain comes from a Satanic attack that he didn't deserve


b) Job's Response

•  Job 13:13 -15 "Keep silent and let me speak; then let come to me what may. Why do I put myself in jeopardy and take my life in my hands? Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him”

•  Job trusted that even IF God killed him in his darkness, he would hope in Him!

•  his words are either words of careless folly or of immense security

•  v.16 Job knew that he had been godly and wasn't ashamed of it, and so also trusted that God would honour that godliness.

•  v.17 I'm happy to enlarge on this

•  v.18 I've thought about this, is what he is saying, and I trust God and trust what I know about my own motivation and actions, and I believe I will be vindicated by Him.

•  “ you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has (Job 42:7)

•  Job sought to be righteous to the best of his ability and knew that God would honour that.

•  1 Thess 2:10 “ You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed.”

•  This was Paul's equivalent claim to righteousness

•  Job didn't know about Jesus but just trusted in God's love and mercy – THAT is security!


5. Other People's Sin – Habakkuk – a confusing perspective 


a) Habakkuk's Circumstances

•  Habakkuk was a minor prophet living in Jeremiah's time somewhere about 600BC

•  His book is an account of his discussion with the Lord

•  He struggles with the injustices in the land (1:3)

•  He wants to know why God isn't acting (1:2)

•  He is living in a sinful nation that has rebelled against God.


b) Habakkuk, seeker and finder


•  God answers that He is about to send the Babylonians to discipline Israel (1:6)

•  Habakkuk struggles with this (v.12-) but determines to watch and listen (2:1-) and comes to see that God will use them AND destroy them for their unrighteousness

•  Eventually he prays (3:1) and asks for the Lord to come again with the same power He did in the past – much of the prayer is a recollection of God's past moves in power

•  He ‘sees' the Lord coming with discipline and quakes


c) Habakkuk – secure man of God

•  Hab 3:16c Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us.

•  He is able to be at peace in the midst of judgment

•  If the credit crunch is God's judgment, can we be at peace in it?

•  v.17 The awfulness of the potential of God's judgment

•  v.18 yet Habakkuk will praise the Lord

•  v.19 Why? Because God is sovereign and will enable him

•  That is the expectation that he lives with in the face of judgment.




  We may face difficult circumstances of:

  •  our own making - comes from a mistaken perspective
  •  Satan's making - with a partial perspective
  •   others' making - with a confusing perspective
  •   yet in each case we need to learn to let our expectations be in God who we trust for our future.