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Great Expectations, Disappointing Outcomes

I remember having to read the book "Great Expectations" in High School Honors English (I dropped out of Honors English 2 years Later because I said it was pretentious, but really I was just lazy). One of the characters that stuck out to me was Miss Havisham, who was stuck on her wedding day. I mean literally stuck. She was an older woman, wearing her wedding dress day in and day out, living in the room where her wedding was to have taken place with a rotting cake and drab and dreary decorations. She was left at the altar, and never got over it. I think in our lives, we build up these expectations of one or two moments, how life should be, the ideal job, the ideal family, the ideal home, or whatever else, and we discover quite quickly that it's not what we thought. In a way, many of us, while not literally living in the moment that devastated us, are a lot like that, aren't we? Metaphorically speaking, we're sitting in the spot where we were most disappointed, living that moment over and over, and we can't move on with our lives. This life has nothing permanent to offer us. Living for the weekend, for the marriage, for the career, for the house, etc. is a lie to keep us focused on all the wrong things. Jesus is the Author and Perfecter of our faith. He is the source of all joy, peace, and contentment. Even should we find every one of our ideals, it would not meet our expectations, because apart from Christ, there is no true contentedness, there's just one more destination, one more goal, one more achievement, all over the horizon. Let us find our contentment in the Author's arms. He knows what we need, even when we don't. He IS the source of contentment, and even in the middle of a storm, He brings peace. Run to Him. He's waiting, and He's so much better than the hype makes Him out to be. Hebrews 12

English Standard Version  

Jesus, Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Do Not Grow Weary

3Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. 6For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”

7It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

12Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. 14Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; 16that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. 17For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.

A Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken

18For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest 19and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. 20For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” 21Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” 22But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23and to the assemblya of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

25See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. 26At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29for our God is a consuming fire.

Footnotes: a 23 Or church

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