Anticipation is an often-overlooked aspect of personal faith in Jesus.
Anticipation is that excitement that bubbles within you when you are a child. The Christmas holidays were always a season to which I looked forward while growing up.
There were the obvious reasons for joy in the Christmas holidays: taking a break from school and celebrating Christmas. I enjoyed time off from homework. My parents always made Christmas a special time of celebrating Jesus, gatherings with friends, and meaningful gifts. Christmas break was a time of joy.
Sometimes our joy was increased by attending the game played in the Cotton Bowl. My dad occasionally received tickets from friends. Our family would then experience the excitement of college football in person on New Year’s Day.
I looked forward with eagerness to the Christmas holidays because of what I had experienced in the past. The holidays were varied, centered on Christ, and filled with fun. As a young child who had no real ability to influence the outcome of such days, I anticipated they would be wonderful because of how they had gone in the past.
Spiritual anticipation is anchored in the past and eagerly looks forward to the future. I say anchored, because it reveals a faith sunk into our knowledge of God’s love and power. A knowledge that comes from living fully aware of God’s presence.
Such knowledge starts with how God has revealed Himself. Goodness is who He is.
“I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you…” ~ Exodus 33:19
Knowing God is good strengthens our faith. We anticipate His goodness because God is always true to His character. Our knowledge of God is not simply head knowledge. We have experienced God’s goodness in a number of ways. He does what He says He will do.
Reflecting on God’s goodness in our lives strengthens our faith. You might start with the way in which He brought you to Christ. You can certainly celebrate salvation from sin—the penalty, the power, and, eventually, the presence of sin. Name some of His gracious gifts to you over the course of His activity in your life.
Anticipation produces an eagerness to discover what God is going to do next on this wild adventure called following Jesus. Those who live fully aware of God’s presence learn to anticipate the activity of His goodness. Note how the sons of Korah sang of God’s goodness.
We pondered your love-in-action, God, waiting in your temple: Your name, God, evokes a train of Hallelujahs wherever It is spoken, near and far; your arms are heaped with goodness-in-action. ~ Psalm 48:9-10 (MSG)
I encourage you to reflect on God’s goodness in your life. Let your faith be strengthened. You know who He is and how He has acted in your past. May you live with a strong sense of God-expectancy in your life today.
Love and blessings,