My expectations at the very start of my journey with Christ as I have now come to realise was totally unrealistic and absolutely mythical. I expected approval, acceptance and huge support especially from everyone that I considered to be fellow Christians and not rejection. I did not expect to be labeled as hateful, bitter and unkind for preaching the truth. I was so excited about preaching the truth that I have found in it's raw undiluted form, and I actually thought that everyone would immediately embrace it and support my entire efforts to spread the Good News of salvation through Christ. I had a huge expectation in regards to quick turn around of things and expected all the physical world problems that I had before my coming to Christ to immediately disappear. I never expected things to get worse and I did not under any circumstances expected to suddenly find myself in the midst of a spiritual battlefront minefield. I did not expect to vigorously labour and end up with outcomes that are far below my natural human expectations. I was't expecting any kind of disappointments and I certainly was't prepared for the fiery trials that immediately came at me from left right and centre the moment Christ entered into my life.
My lack of expectations of trials and immense tribulations not only threw me off balance when I suddenly became inundated with trials, but it shattered my feelings. My faith was thoroughly shaken, my hope was deeply dented with disappointments and my emotions were pushed to the utmost limit of human distress. If it wasn't for God's grace and mercies, my shattered hope and faith would have totally crippled me from my spiritual walk of faith and most likely ended up converting me from a vibrant believer into an angry disappointed chronic unbeliever. God's grace saved me and kept me saved and indeed through it all, my testimony of God remains that He is indeed faithfully loving and kind. It is by His graceful love that I am saved and it is by His comforting graceful love that I remain saved.
Trials and tribulations as I have now fully come to realise are indeed unavoidable experiences that any true Christian in this fallen world should expect to go through. And the only way we can rightfully enable people to rise above the shocking effect of sudden trials, and help them to remain in the right path of faith is by emphasising the fact that extreme long sufferings in this fallen world of sin is unavoidable for the true redeemed in Christ, but through the comforting love of the Holy Spirit of God we can overcome all and receive from God His reward of faith, which is eternal life of rest, peace and joy in His everlasting kingdom.
If you happen to be reading this today, and you are having a trial shock reaction due to whatsoever you might be going through, let me as a quick reminder emphasise what we ought to expect from this fallen world of sin as true believers of Christ so that you can from henceforth realistically manage your expectations:
1. Expect terrible hatred from the world and heart wrenching criticisms for who you are and for speaking the truth not just from unbelievers but often times from those who claim to be co-believers
2. Expect huge hope and faith shattering disappointments and a long run of let downs for your expectations
3. Expect people you least expect to turn against you to suddenly turn against you and those you had hoped will endlessly love you to end up rejecting you
4. Expect immense long suffering
5. Expect trials, tribulations and temptations of the highest order
6. Expect people to despitefully use you and then end up blaming you for deserting you
7. Expect mind boggling endless terrible spiritual warfare attacks from the evil forces of this world
8. Expect a lengthy run of little returns for your big efforts and be prepared to suffer, labour and endlessly battle even for the minute outcomes for your efforts
9. Expect a heartbreaking long run of spending your raving seeds on projects and ending up with a disappointing return
10. Expect to suffer loneliness, isolation and highest deep feelings of emotional downturns
11. Expect nothing from this world to minimise your feelings of disappointments
12. Expect the very worst outcomes in the world but hope for the best in eternal life
If you are able to identify with any of the above expectations and you are now in despair for experiencing these unexpected bundles of real life expectations that we ought to be mindful of in our walk with Christ, my word for you today is do not despair. You are not alone! These things are not abnormal but indeed a norm in this world for the genuine followers of Christ. Yes, I admit it is a tough run to walk with Christ in a world that is antichrist, but the eternal life rewards that awaits us makes all the sufferings we can possibly go through in this world altogether worthwhile. I pray that through Christ and the comforting love of the Holy Spirit of God, you will daily overcome every fiery trial both expected and unexpected to the glory of God the Father. And that you will by His special grace persevere in your trials, and receive from God at the end of your earthly journey the eternal life reward of everlasting peace, rest and joy in His holy kingdom. Amen.
1 Peter 4:12-19
"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you:on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God:and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator."
Pastor Olabisi was a mother, Senior Pastor, Evangelist, Prophet,Teacher, Psalmist, Author, Writer, Publisher and a Housing Practitioner.
She set up Encouraged by God as a means of encouraging and strengthening the faith of Christians everywhere.
Lived and died in Christ, 06 October 2016, aged 49 years old.