Weekly word – 9/14/23

Battle of the Wills. What Did You Expect?


We all set goals and have expectations in just about every aspect of our lives. That is not a bad thing…in fact I would argue that it is a good and responsible thing. It becomes a problem when our expectations are not met, for whatever reason, and we get upset. James tells us in chapter 4, verses 13-17, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.’ Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes.

Instead, you should say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’ But as it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So, it is sin to know the good and yet not do it.”

We have no idea what tomorrow holds, or what God has willed which will directly or indirectly impact our lives. Sometimes we make plans with all certainty that it will come to pass. In my preparation for the sermon this week in Mark chapter 6, I’m finding that all the characters experienced this same dilemma. They lived out this certain day doing what they thought was best and with the expectation that everything was going to be good. They had no idea how things would pan out. God had other plans! Tune in on Sunday for the rest of the story.


Do we get disappointed, upset, or feel hopeless when things don’t happen as expected; when things don’t go our way, or they don’t happen according to “our” schedule. As we’ve all seen, this similar kind of situation occurred on August 8 in Maui, Hawaii. Everyone in Lahaina, thought it was just going to be another day in paradise. What happened over the next 7 days caught everyone by complete surprise and city officials were quickly overwhelmed by the fires.


A close friend of mine lost 2 homes with everything in them, 3 businesses and he’s still trying to process the emotions he’s experiencing. At the same time, he’s trying to figure out how to help his 289 employees whose lives were suddenly turned upside down. All of them suddenly unemployed and 132 of them without a home. Experiencing such a tragedy like this is bad enough to imagine, but to realize that there are no plans for tomorrow and help is still far away. 


While we all experience the uncertainties of life to some degree, nothing catches God by surprise. We all search for answers and reasons for these devastating circumstances, but often come up empty. All we can be certain about is that God is sovereignly in control of each of these circumstances and is also the only source of peace and comfort to get us through them.


My friend shared that it is his faith in God that keeps him going. We don’t know what to expect in each minute before us, but we can expect and know that God is faithful and true, and that is all that matters. This has caused me to be focused more on things with eternal value and the people around me…saved and unsaved alike. Being an encouragement to those who are saved, and sharing the hope of eternal life to those who are lost.


Pastor Bryan