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Eager anticipation would probably describe most children’s desire to open a gift as soon as possible. They are looking forward to and hoping for a nice surprise inside.  Adults realize that not all anticipation ends so favorably.  It might involve frustration or dread of consequences.  That job offer one was expecting that went to someone else and the IRS audit instead of the hoped for refund are only a couple of examples.

Christians look forward confidently to the fulfillment of the promises God has made.  Many are expressed in Bible verses on hope and faith.  “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Heb 11:1).  The Apostle Paul ardently pro-claimed, “…if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands” (2 Cor 5:1).  The Lord Jesus Christ verifies this when He promises, “In my Father’s house are many rooms…I am going there to prepare a place for you” (Jo 14:2).  This is indeed a promise all Christians can eagerly anticipate.

However, some promises are also earthly and worth the an-ticipation.  Jesus said, “…no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age…and in the age to come , eternal life” (Mk 10:29-30).  “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse …Test me in this, says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it’” (Mal 3:10).

It might be that what we anticipate will not be realized in this life.  The Old Testament prophets, “…searched intently and with the greatest care trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ was pointing…It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you (Christians)…” (1 Pe 1:10-11).  This is a good lesson for 21st Century Christians who may not see what they are anticipating come to fruition.  However, when faith, hope and trust partner with anticipation, they make an unbeatable team.

-Jim Bailey

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