Showing posts with label Expectations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Expectations. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

That Looks Like a Good Experience! Trust and Follow Him. – Purity 728

That Looks Like a Good Experience! Trust and Follow Him. – Purity 728

Purity 728 05/11/2022   Purity 728 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of an outcropping of Rock and a tree that resembles a cross in the foreground of a fantastic view of a forest and mountains in the distance comes to us from a friend who spent Monday evening hiking at the Wilson M. Powell Wildlife Sanctuary in Old Chatham NY where they stated they enjoyed a short hike with amazing views that built their appetite for dinner at nearby Jackson’s Old Chatham House.  

Well, it’s Wednesday and I figured my friend’s photo with that outcropping of rock, mountains in the distance, and cross like tree smack dab in the middle of the photo was more than an adequate symbolic representation of “hump” day and what is to be the center of our lives. My friend’s recommendations also are representative of what I try to do here on the blog and podcast which is to provided encouragement and advice to anyone who will listen on how to have a life that is rich in meaning, purpose, and peace.  

While I have never been to the Wildlife Sanctuary in Old Chatham or to Jackson’s to eat, I am now very open to the idea of something I was not aware of.  I trust what my friend says is true and now it is up to me to decide whether or not I will go and see for myself if the views at the Wildlife Sanctuary are amazing and if Jackson’s is a good place to eat.  

This wonder and curiosity about my friend’s experience and my consideration of whether or not I should follow in their footsteps is a microcosm of our entire lives.  As we go through this earth we gather information about people, places, and things, and we are challenged to accept or reject the inherent invitation that the information provides.  

Is this experience for me? Will I enjoy it? Will this experience benefit me in some way? Is it an experience that is worth my time and efforts?  

As we go through life we will gather all types of information from various sources about various experiences and whether or not we choose to accept the inherent invitation that the information provides is whether or not we feel we can trust that A. the experience is something that will provide some benefit and B. if we can trust the source of the information.    

Imagining that something is worthwhile or could be beneficial to us is one thing.  We can imagine all types of experiences that could provide us with some benefit in theory.  The list of possible destinations and activities out there are practically endless but the decision to test your theory based on the information you have obtained and actually decide to put it into practice is another thing.  

We have to agree the experience is “good”, have to agree that we want to do it, and then finally trust the information enough to actually plan for and to do the activity or go to the place.  

Can we trust the information?

Now whether or not I or you decide to follow in my friend’s footsteps is a risk.  Maybe my friend’s idea of “a short hike”, “amazing views” and what is presumably “good food” will not coincide with our ideas, or maybe the circumstances of when we decided to follow our friend’s advice will be different from when they experienced it.  The thing is we will never unless we try.   And that, our stepping out, with hope, but without knowing for certain, is faith.  

Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)
1  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

All of our lives are faithful.  We are constantly stepping out in faith, hoping for certain outcomes that can’t be certain about.  To make life less chaotic, we will usually base our decisions on what we will step out into on trustworthy information.  

And can I tell you, that there is absolutely no one we can trust more than Jesus Christ.

While I can tell you about my experiences about walking in the Spirit and following the path of Christian Discipleship, you may not trust me.  If you knew me before I came to Christ, I wouldn’t blame you for being hesitant to follow in my footsteps!

But I am not telling you to follow in my exact footsteps, I am merely suggesting that you follow the One who is Faithful and True (Rev 19:11)  and who works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called to His purpose.  I am encouraging all who hear me speak or that read the words that I write to trust in the Lord God Almighty and to follow the One who He sent to teach us and to save us, Jesus Christ who said:

Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV)
28  Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

We could all use rest for our souls. Jesus also said, in,

Matthew 16:24-25 (NKJV)
24  …, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

In Christ our lives are saved, as faith in Him produces a new and eternal life.  Jesus also said in

John 8:12 (NKJV)
12  … "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."

Christ leads us out of the darkness into a life of goodness and light.  And finally Jesus said in:

John 8:31-32 (NKJV)
31  … "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
32  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

Rest, Life, Light, and Freedom. These are the things that you will find if you decide to trust the information that Christ has given us.  I can honestly testify that this experience, of a life of faith in Jesus Christ, of walking in the Spirit, of following the path Christian Discipleship is an experience that will benefit you.  It is an experience that you can enjoy. It is an experience that has meaning. It is an experience that has purpose. And it just so happens that this experience, simply does not end.

But I don’t want you to take my word for it.  

Instead I invite you to consider the information that has been faithfully passed on since the time that Jesus walked the earth by others that knew that what Jesus said was true. I invite you to read more of the words of Jesus that you can find in the Bible and to investigate it’s claims.  

But after you gather the information, it is my prayer that you will decide to step out in faith and follow where the Lord will lead you.  It a process, an experience, that begins with trust and results in life everlasting and abundant joy.   

So trust the information I have passed along. I have found it to be true but I have also discovered that its true value is not realized unless we apply it to our lives by living it out day by day.   Start or keep walking and talking with God, and you too can share in the joy of passing along the information that can lead others to rest, life, light, and freedom.  


Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Psalm 18:24-25 (NLT2)
24  The LORD rewarded me for doing right. He has seen my innocence.
25  To the faithful you show yourself faithful; to those with integrity you show integrity.

Today’s Bible verses encourages us that the Lord will reward our efforts to follow Him. 

A parallel verse to today’s verse, in my opinion, would be:

James 4:10 (NKJV)
10  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

When we humble ourselves and start following the Lord by applying His wisdom to our lives, or as today’s verse says, we start “doing right”, the Lord will reward us. He will lift us up! 

The Psalmist states that the God will see our innocence, meaning our pure and honest decision to turn from out sin and follow His righteous ways.  God sees our hearts. So it’s not about outward appearances or surface level obedience.  God sees our sincerity. 

And the psalmist indicates that we are faithful to follow God, God will be faithful to us. He will reward us.  

If we walk integrity, God will show His integrity and make good on the promises that He makes in His word.   The Lord through the prophet Ezekiel:

Ezekiel 18:21-22 (NKJV)
21  "But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die.
22  None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live.

This Old Testament Scripture shows us that God has always wanted us to follow Him and that He would be merciful to those who did and He sent Christ to restate that desire and to seal our salvation.  


In Christ we have the forgiveness of sins and the promise of a new and eternal life,  but God still calls us to walk in His ways, to follow Him.   And today’s verse echoes the promise that when we “do right”, we will be rewarded. So do right, be faithful, have integrity, because when you do God will show you His faithfulness, His integrity, and you will be rewarded.


As always, I invite all to go to where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

Today we continue sharing from John Piper’s “Don’t Waste Your Life”.  

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase John Pipers’ books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $5.00.

Making Others Glad in God Is a Massive Thing

The second clarification is that gladness in God is not a peripheral religious experience. When I speak of making people glad in God, I have in mind all the saving work that God has done from beginning to end. I am not saying that gladness is the whole of salvation. I am saying that gladness in God is the goal of all saving work, and the experiential essence of what it means to be saved. Without this joy in God, there would be no salvation.

So when I speak of making someone glad in God, I include the plan and grace of God “which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began” (2 Timothy 1:9). I include the all-sufficient redeeming work of Christ in death and resurrection (Romans 3:24–26). I include the divine work of new birth that gives us a new nature (John 3:3–7; 1 Peter 1:3, 23). I include the God-given change of mind called repentance that turns away from sin and turns to God for help (2 Timothy 2:25; Acts 3:19; 26:20). I include faith in Jesus Christ that embraces him as the Savior and Lord and supreme Treasure of life (Philippians 3:7–9). I include the progressive change into Christlikeness called sanctification (Romans 6:22; 8:29). I include the entire life of love that counts it more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). And I include the total renewal of body, mind, heart, relationships, and society that happens partially in this age, by the inbreaking of God’s kingdom, and then completely at the consummation of God’s purposes in the age to come (Acts 3:21; Romans 8:23).

When I speak of gladness in God, therefore, I mean a gladness that has roots in God’s eternal decree, was purchased by the blood of Christ, springs up in the newborn heart because of God’s Spirit, awakens in repentance and faith, constitutes the essence of sanctification and Christlikeness, and gives rise to a life of love and a passion for redeeming the world after the image of God. Gladness in God is a massive reality planned and purchased and produced by God in the lives of his elect for the glory of his name.

What Then Should We Do?

With those two clarifications, I ask again, what should we do to make people glad in God? What paths of risk and sacrifice should we take in our passion for the supremacy of God in all things, and in our zeal to magnify Christ, and in our single-minded commitment to boast only in the cross? That is what the next chapters are about.[1]

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel:

Email me at to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock ( ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2003), 104–105.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

What Did You Expect? – Managing Responses and Finding Peace Purity 572

What Did You Expect? – Managing Responses and Finding Peace  Purity 572

Purity 572 11/10/2021   Purity 572 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of the Greek Coastline, presumably from a boat on the Mediterranean or Aegean Sea, comes to us from a friend who recently enjoyed their honeymoon there and who assured their friends that even though their trip was delayed a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Greece exceeded all their expectations.  

It’s Wednesday and for many of us this Hump Day will exceed all normal expectations for a Wednesday because tomorrow is Veteran’s Day and many of us will have the day off. So Wednesday becomes Friday, a phenomenon that I would say is extremely uncommon except for the fact that the vast majority of us will experience this “freaky Wednesday”  again in two weeks when we will be celebrating “Thanksgiving Eve”. 

Managing our expectations is one of the best ways to foster contentment as we can mentally cool our jets before we enter into an experience to avoid being disappointed if our reality doesn’t match up with the way we envision how things will come to pass.   

The holiday season is usually where most of us have learned of the pitfalls of getting our hopes up, as many of us have experienced our “worst Christmas” and were forever changed by it.  For most of us there was that one Christmas when the magic just wasn’t there as we either didn’t receive what we were hoping for under the Christmas tree or, even worse, we received a most unwelcomed yuletide gift of an unexpected loss, tragedy, or trial.  

That initial “Bad Christmas” was a pivotal moment in our lives as a part of our innocence was lost and we learned the lesson that we didn’t always get what we wanted or that tragedy, trials, and loss were a part of life that could even invade the joyous season of Christmas.   Now that “Bad Christmas” should have taught us to appreciate the good times when we can have them and to temper our expectations about life in general. 

However, those disappointments, trials, tragedies, and losses could also drive us into an attitude of self-pity and as I learned through my pre-marriage counseling sessions recently, self-pity is a cancer that can not only affect the one feeling sorry for themselves it can also ruin the relationships that the sufferer is in.   

The material we are reviewing (Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts BY Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott) teaches the valuable lesson that we are each responsible for our own emotional responses, that you partner’s responses should not be given the power to effect how you feel.

People are imperfect and will not always respond the way we expect so we have to be emotionally mature enough to not be pulled into despair or anger if our partner doesn’t give us the response we wanted from them.  

Our expectation of another to make us happy is unwise and if we hold the expectation that our partners will make us happy at all times we will either be filled with self-pity, resentment, or seek to blame them for our unhappiness. Self-pity, resentment and the blame game are the responses that lead to unhappy marriages, and in many cases divorce.     

When we respond with self-pity, resentment, or by blaming our partner, we tend to separate ourselves from them emotionally and stop communicating because of our unfulfilled expectations.  

To break the chain reaction that could result in a communications break down, we need to take responsibility for our emotional responses by managing our expectations and by communicating openly and compassionately when we run into disappointments.   

By considering the other person’s experience, what may be involved in our not receiving what we expected, and talking about it, we can learn how to effectively communicate what we need in our relationships and how we can support one another through life.   

The only One who knows our thoughts and needs perfectly is God and He directs us to love our neighbors as ourselves.  That means we are to consider their needs above our own and to love them.  So when we are disappointed by life or by people’s responses to us or situations, we should try to see the situation from the Lord’s perspective and see where we can be patient rather than take offense, and to act to help and heal rather than to cause harm or division.  

Life can be full of disappointments due to circumstances, other people’s responses, and our own expectations. So keep walking and talking with God so you can see the truth about the situations you are in and act in a way that will foster contentment, settle disputes, and bring peace and love. 

When we walk in the way the Lord calls us to walk, we become minsters of His love and wisdom. When we act compassionately, we can not only be a light in the darkness for others, but we can also calm the troubled hearts that may be beating in our own chests by seeing that in God we have all we need for life and godliness and all the answers to life and death.   

Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verse is :

Lamentations 3:23 (NLT2)
23  Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.

Today’s verse reminds us of God’s faithfulness and the blessings that come with each new day.  

Some days are filled with problems and trials. Sometimes friends and loved ones disappoint us.   Sometimes we can feel that nothing is going right and that we are all alone.  

In a life that is separated from God, the potential for days like these is very high because when we believe that our life in the here and now is all there is, there is no hope.  Science shows us that things fall apart and if we have no considerations for a spiritual dimension to our lives, life is a desperate struggle to find circumstantial happiness and to try to maintain it with the realization that every moment is another moment closer to our eventual extinction.

Platitudes of leaving a legacy behind or being remembered are cold comforts when the eventual extinction of the universe is considered in a worldview that doesn’t allow for God.  

But God is real, and His word reveals that He has a plan for a new heaven and a new earth that will override the expectations of our material observations.  

The word of God also reveals that the Lord is faithful because it is filled with the testimonies of men and women who have been delivered and transformed by God.  

The fact of God’s unseen presence is with us is documented in the word of God and can be experienced when one establishes a relationship with God by putting their faith in Jesus Christ.  

God created the universe and the way it operates and even for those who don’t believe in Him, He has created the order that gives us a new day every 24 hours from which we can start again.  The Lord is shown faithful even to the unbeliever by the regularity in which the new days come. 

“The sun will come out tomorrow” may be a hit in the musical Annie but it is a truth and a reality that is created by God and is only one evidence for His faithfulness.

So thank the Lord for a new day. Forget about yesterday’s troubles, or better yet learn from them, and take solace in the fact that no matter how the day goes today you will be able to seek rest at the end of the day and have a fresh new one waiting for you tomorrow because God is faithful, and His mercies are new every morning.     


As always, I invite all to go to where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s “Evil and Suffering… Why? Is God Fair?

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work.

C. What Is "Just"?

A fair and impartial judge, an honest and forthright business person, an objective and equitable employer—all represent what we know and appreciate about those considered to be just. Some people say, "Our nation is a just nation." Is this true? Consider the following definitions:

  • The English word just is a legal term that means either "conforming to a standard of correctness" or "acting or being in conformity with what is morally upright or good."
  • Justice refers to the law, jurisprudence is the science of law, and the "justice system" sets the legal standard.
  • The Greek word dikaios is sometimes translated as each of these words: "just, justification, right, and righteous."
  • Just and right are often used interchangeably throughout the Bible to mean...
    • —In right standing
          "See, he is puffed up; his desires are not uprightbut the righteous will live by his faith." (Habakkuk 2:4)
    • —Right conduct
          "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8)
  • Right standing and right conduct are always measured against a standard.
    • —When two people secure a marriage license before marrying, they are in right standing within the legal system.
    • —When a man is convicted of a crime, his wrong conduct is illegal.

Illustration: The chief priests found Jesus guilty of breaking the Jewish religious laws, but Pilate found Him innocent of illegal conduct according to Roman law.

"As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, 'Crucify! Crucify!' But Pilate answered, 'You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.'" (John 19:6)


Question: "Why is God partial toward some people?"

Answer: The Bible says God does not show partiality. It may appear from our limited view that God favors certain people over others. However, God loves and cares for us all equally.

"God does not show favoritism." (Romans 2:11)

Biblical Counseling Keys: Evil and Suffering... Why?: Why God? Why?.

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------


Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts ( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

Email me at to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.


Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship