GREAT EXPECTATIONS: Approaching a New Year Fully Convinced!
Empty school parking lots are starting to show signs of life. Many administrators and support staff are back at work, and teachers are filtering in and out to begin preparations for another school year. Whether your school year starts in a few weeks or after Labor Day, I’m sure your heart is stirring with anticipation. What will this year bring?
Here is what I want you to remember. God already knows.
· He knows who your students are going to be, including the names and faces of those who will push your buttons.
· He knows every parent who will cross your path.
· He knows each colleague you will interact with daily and periodically.
· He knows your leaders and the decisions they will make as well as the impact those decisions will have on you.
· He knows the successes you will have.
· He knows the conflicts you will encounter.
· He knows the challenges you will face.
· He knows the frustrations you will feel.
· He knows how your year is going to start and how it will end.
God knows absolutely everything, and He has strategically placed you where you are THIS year for HIS purpose. We can live in full assurance that no matter what happens, God is involved, and He will work everything out for good. Romans 8:28 is probably one of the most familiar and misunderstood verses in the Bible.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (NASB)
This verse doesn’t apply to everyone, and it doesn’t mean everything this upcoming year will feel or be good. What it does say is that God will take the ups, downs, and unexpected events and work them together for good for only those who love and follow him. If we truly believe this, we can approach the upcoming year with great expectations; we can be fully convinced that God is able to strengthen, sustain, and guide us regardless of our circumstances.
I love how Tony Evans talks about this in his book, Pathways: From Providence to Purpose.
Friend, nothing comes to you that doesn’t pass through God’s providential fingers first. You have to know that. You have to believe that. You have to trust that. You have to rest in that. That mind-set will situate you so that you can respond to life’s challenges, setbacks, and apparent randomness with a spirit of intentionality and persevering faith (page 34).
Every school year is challenging; every teacher knows that. However, what would it look like to approach this school year with intentionality and persevering faith? What would it look like if we expected God to show up in big ways and be fully convinced He would?
I was reading in the Book of Romans when God spoke to my heart and challenged me to think more deeply about just how unwavering and fully convinced I was.
Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. (Romans 4:20-21)
It’s a long story, but God promised Abraham he would be the father of many nations. Abraham first received the promise when he was 75 years old; however, it was not until he was 100 and Sarah was 90 that Isaac was born (Genesis 21:5). Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years for the fulfillment of God’s promise. 25 years!
What may be even more incredible is that Abraham never wavered! Did he make mistakes in those 25 years? Yes, and some of them were big ones! Nevertheless, he was fully convinced God was able to keep His promise. As a result, two things happened: (1) Abraham’s faith grew; and (2) God received the glory. You see, God gives honor to great faith because great faith gives honor to God.
Do you have great expectations of God, or is your God too small? Are you full convinced God is able to do what He has promised in your life? Are you unwavering in the waiting, even if it has been years? I believe God wants to work in our lives just as he did in Abraham’s life. Abraham’s faith grew because he had great expectations and was fully convinced of God’s ability to perform what He had promised. The same can be true for us!
In case you need a reminder…
God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?
One thing I love about God is He is so personal. He cares for you personally. He wants to bless you unlike anyone else. He wants to fulfill His promises to you, and His promises aren’t flippant or casual. His promises are rock-solid commitments. Whatever our struggles or whatever our dreams, God is prepared to show Himself faithful when we trust Him with it all.
Are you worried or anxious about the coming school year? God promises to give you peace and guard your mind and heart. (Philippians 4:6-7)
Are you feeling guilt or shame? God promises cleansing. He can heal you and make you whole. (1 John 1:9)
Are you fearful? God promises to strengthen, help, and uphold you. (Isaiah 41:10)
Take a moment and seriously ponder these two questions.
What are you expecting from God?
What promises are you fully convinced He is able to perform?
Write them down. Take time to reflect on them. Don’t let these promises become afterthoughts. Mediate on them. Pray through them for yourself. I promise you—just like Abraham, your faith will grow, and most importantly, God will be glorified!
What will this year bring? Let’s expect GREAT things from a GREAT God!
Join me and replace Abraham’s name with yours.
________ never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his/her faith grew stronger, and in this he/she brought glory to God. _______ was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises!
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power
at work within us, to accomplish infinitely
more than we might ask or think.