From The Heart

Publish date: 02/06/2006

So be patient, brethren, [as you wait] till the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits expectantly for the precious harvest from the land. [See how] he keeps up his patient [vigil] over it until it receives the early and late rains 8 So you also must be patient. Establish your hearts [strengthen and confirm them in the final certainty], for the coming of the Lord is very near.  James 5:7-8 AMP

The farmer waits expectantly for the precious harvest from the land. If he did not expect a harvest, he would not wait for it—he would go off and do something else and miss the time of harvest. The waiting is part of the expecting. There is a time period involved between the time of the seed being planted and the time of the harvest, but because you anticipate results, you have patience to wait. Religion and tradition of man always tries to neutralize the truth and the power of the word of God. Religion will tell you not to expect anything from God. Because of this, people have not gone to God for help, even though He has told all of us that He is waiting to hear from us; even though He has promised to answer us.

We should expect the things that God says we should expect. Our expectation keeps us focused and keeps our faith working. Our expectation causes us to not give up, but to have patience while we wait. If we were not patient and if we gave up, we would not be there when the harvest was ready to be reaped. Some people think they never received their harvest, but what happened was that they never had the patience to wait for the harvest to come and so they never reaped what they could have reaped! You get what you expect. Those who expect to receive will receive and those who do not expect to receive will not.

And so faith, hope, love abide [faith--conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things; hope--joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love--true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love.  1 Corinthians 13:13 AMP

Hope is a joyful, confident expectation, and faith is a conviction that whatever God said is what He meant and that He will do exactly what He said He would. Faith believes that whatever God said He would do He will do. Faith expects results.

And they journeyed from Mount Hor by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom, and the people became impatient (depressed, much discouraged), because [of the trials] of the way. 5 And the people spoke against God and against Moses, Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no bread, neither is there any water, and we loathe this light (contemptible, unsubstantial) manna. 6 Then the Lord sent fiery (burning) serpents among the people; and they bit the people, and many Israelites died. 7 And the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord, that He may take away the serpents from us. So Moses prayed for the people. 8 And the Lord said to Moses, Make a fiery serpent [of bronze] and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live. 9 And Moses made a serpent of bronze and put it on a pole, and if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked to the serpent of bronze [attentively, expectantly, with a steady and absorbing gaze], he lived.  Numbers 21:4-9 AMP

By the time the Israelites left Egypt, they had spent all their lives as slaves in Egypt. Until then, they had not experienced the saving and delivering power of God. They had been exposed to Egypt’s foreign gods and had no faith in the Living God. They had no faith in God that He was on their side. Because of this, they had no expectation that God could and would cause them to defeat the people of Canaan and possess their land and so they refused to go into Canaan and take their inheritance. Because of their unbelief, God had to keep them in the wilderness and outside of the Promised Land. Because of their bad attitude; because they did not trust God’s Word; because they did not expect God to see them through; when they experienced trials in the wilderness, they became immediately impatient, depressed, and very discouraged, and started to speak out against God.

When the Lord sent fiery, burning serpents among the people that bit them and killed many of them, suddenly they were prepared to acknowledge their sin. They asked Moses to ask God to deliver them from the serpents and the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery bronze serpent and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.” Moses did as God commanded and the Bible tells us that when the people who had been bitten looked to the serpent of bronze with an expectation of God’s mercy and His healing and delivering power, they were healed and they lived! Obviously if someone did not believe God’s Word through Moses and they did not expect to be healed, they would not look at the bronze serpent and they would not live. The Amplified Bible says that those who lived looked at the bronze serpent “attentively, expectantly, and with a steady and absorbing gaze.” Because they expected to receive, they did. If you expect to receive God’s promise—you will receive exactly what you expected!