I broach the subject again, for I am called to, one statement that was first brought to my attention in its basest form in a book written nearly seven hundred years ago, “What we expect, we come to believe we deserve.”
The tenure of each civilization or nation of man has reached its conclusion when these words become commonplace, and when it approaches, it most generally is a statement of its downfall. It denotes a nation that has not only reached the pinnacle of ease, but has gone over the edge of it, a nation where most have few needs, and so those items are expected. Water and food are abundant enough to sustain life, though not to the extant that all would desire, they are not perishing by famine. Shelter and heat are readily available, whether it be by their own design or the mercy and compassion of others, the accomplishment of this statement is the final stroke of the enabled society.
When the minority do not receive what they expect, they rebel, for they believe they are deserving of it, hence they are enabled, for those that have some are then forced by those that have much to give of what they have to the have nots. Today we use the term Socialism, the idea that all should share equally, no matter the effort exerted by the have nots. What we have come to expect, we believe we deserve.
The born-again believer has power to exert in this area, but he has no right to, we are commanded to “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33) What you have been given by God is all you need, whether it be poverty or riches, your needs are fulfilled “according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19) The follower of Jesus Christ has the power to complain about his circumstances, but he has no right to, for the branch that bears fruit He will prune, (John 15:2) and if you would like to take these truths to the highest degree, “it pleased the Lord to bruise Him.” No one ever exhibited a greater degree of a lack of desire for earthly things than our Lord Jesus, all He did was meant to glorify God, Paul said whether I am cold or hot, I am content. (Phil. 4:11) What we have come to expect, we believe we deserve, but in my mind many years ago He put this phrase, “I do not deserve anything, and I deserve everything I get.” It was the Lord’s way of showing me that all I receive, good or bad, I only receive because of His grace, it was His way of informing me that I am not the most important person on this planet, that what I have been given is sufficient for today.
Hungry people complain, hungry Christians complain, but then they ask for forgiveness, for above all creation, those who serve God Almighty never have a need to complain, the kingdom is theirs. “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) What we deserve was paid for on the cross at Calvary, unless you have an eternal view, you will never understand these words, you will find yourself without something someday, and you will begin to complain because you will believe that you deserve it.
Far too much effort and thought is given to this world and our lives in it by far too many who call Christ Lord, they seek for the next thing, the next item or experience of contentment, and when they cannot obtain it, they sulk around like small children who have been told they cannot have a piece of candy, they search for reasons why what they have expected has been denied them, they will ponder at length every possible reason, when all they needed to do was say “Thank you Lord, I do not understand at the moment, but thank you, thy will be done in my life.”
Every single thing that occurs in your life must be compared to your eternal home, poverty will bring greater desires, riches should do the same, sickness looks forward to the day when illness is a forgotten memory, health brings a desire to be with Christ. No circumstance that our Lord brings into our lives should ever be allowed to assuage us in any form for any length of time. For moments? Of course, did not even our Lord ask, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matt. 26:39) “Thy will be done” are not just words we save up for that rainy day, they are not a last resort, they are not the words of an individual who has simply given up and accepted, grudgingly, what Christ has allowed to come into their lives, they are a joy, no matter the circumstances, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
We just need to start seeing it that way, we need to constantly be searching for the prize that is Christ, to die to self and forget the circumstances of the moment. Every event that occurs in the life of the child of God is an opportunity to praise His name, only those who have set their sights on the eternal can understand this, only those whose only desire is Jesus Christ can live expecting nothing but Him, and finding He is all they need, and much more than what any of us deserve.