What do we expect from God? I would guess that our expectations and our faith are only as big as our understanding of who God is. That is why I love studying doctrine with other women. When they first start it is intimidating. They aren’t in seminary. Do they have the ability to dive deep into the things of God?
I have seen many a lightbulb go off when a woman starts understanding the extent of God’s sovereignty or the truth of our justification and the freedom it brings. It changes their faith and their expectations.
In John 11, Jesus gives Martha a little theology lesson. Now this seems odd and maybe a little cold of Jesus since Martha’s brother had just died and Jesus didn’t come in time to heal him. But this is what Martha needs. She needs her expectations of Jesus blown up. Her faith was too small.
“Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to him, ‘I know he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’ “
Martha has a belief in a resurrection. That’s good. But Jesus goes further to show her that He is not just some healer for the present time. He is much much more:
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?’ “
Martha believed in a resurrection but Jesus wanted her to know that here, standing in front of her, was the resurrection! This knowledge would shatter her myopic expectations of what Jesus could and would do and of who He was. Here is her answer:
“She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.’ “
What are your expectations of God? Are they limited? Can a deeper study of God’s character help you?
As I thought on these verses in John 11, God reminded me of Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3 which is an example of allowing our knowledge of doctrine inform our prayers. Paul prays for the Ephesians in such a sweeping manner for he knows that God can do far more than we can imagine:
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
I encourage you to study and go deeper in the things of God. You won’t regret it.