About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

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Surviving Failed Expectations


My seventy years of life tells me that failed expectations are par for the course of life.  During 1991 and 1992, for example, I experienced a life-changing failed expectation.  Once things settled down and a more positive life-changing situation occurred, I was asked what my expectations were for my new life. My answer was simple and to the point.  "I have no expectations."  You may call my answer a lack of faith, but I call it the reality of life in a fallen world. 


There were three things that enabled me to survive this crushing crisis in my life.  The first of course, was Jesus.  His presence was so real to me that one day while sitting on my love seat, I felt compelled to glance to my left to see if He was actually sitting beside me in some kind of physical form.  Without this real relationship with Jesus, it's difficult to survive the damage done by such a day of despair.

The second thing that helped me survive those days was the decades long mutually supportive friendship I possessed with two other brothers in Jesus.  Day after day they were there for me, something that a weekly church meeting could never have provided in my life.    

The third thing that got me through those years was that I had embraced the Bible's view of this present age.  Adam and Eve's failure to obey God exiled all of creation into what I call the "Age of Entropy."  The word "entropy" is a scientific term that expresses the process whereby all things decay and eventually die.  It's what God warned Adam about if he decided to disobey.  Failed expectations, then, are par for the course of life as we manoeuvre our way through life's pitfalls as exiles in a fallen world.  Becoming a Christian does not nullify that reality.  It is just life until the new earth replaces this fallen earth (Revelation 21).            


When I consider these things, I am reminded of the apostle Paul's severed relationship with the Christians in Corinth.   His second letter to those believers shows us that he was devastated over the failure to maintain a lasting friendship with these people, that as far as we know, may never have been restored.  Despite being devastated, Paul survived that failed expectation.  With the help of Jesus and his close brothers in Christ, along with the Bible's view of this present Age of Entropy, the reality of failed expectations became manageable for Paul.  Like Paul, we acknowledge our failed expectations, and as we do, we pick up the pieces and move onto the next venture in life.  


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