This morning I woke up with a start. In my dream, a very dear friend of mine, suffering from advanced stages of ALS, suddenly sat up in his bed and said his name. It was thrilling. Too bad it was just a dream as my friend hasn’t been able to speak a word for months and is nearly completely paralyzed.
But you know, I am still believing that God will do a miracle in his life. I know my friend is still expecting it as well. That’s one of our great privileges as a child of God, isn’t it. The privilege to expect the impossible from Him. Neither one of us will think less of God if the impossible doesn’t become a reality. But that confidence that God can do it, against all odds, is what comes to mind when I think of Momentum Europe’s value built around “expectancy”.
As a ministry, Momentum Europe’s vision statement is about serving to help ignite and resource spiritual awakening in Europe. Generally speaking, given the current spiritual state of Europe, that’s a crazy vision. But we expect that God will allow our vision to become more than just a nice sounding phrase. We expect that God, who put the vision on our hearts, will bring it to pass.
In Romans 5: 3-5 Paul writes:
“… but we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit…”
Through the initial trials and challenges of seeing Momentum Europe come into being, our perseverance and character were sorely tested. Interestingly those times of testing, really deepened our expectancy that God was going to work in and through us as his Holy Spirit revealed His love to us in deeper and deeper ways.
So now, in often challenging situations where the hardness of the “soil” is pronounced, we can minister with the abiding joy that comes with an expectant heart. Sharing Christ day-in and day-out with mature people who have often formed a very godless world view isn’t easy. But because we are convinced of the love of Christ our team can continue to share their faith with others, joyfully expecting that in God’s perfect time and in His perfect way we’ll see a growing harvest of people giving their lives to Jesus.
That’s the joy that keeps us going. That’s the joy of expecting God to work. A joy not based in some blissful ignorance of reality, but rather an expectant joy that can only be borne out of trials and testing and a deepening sense of God’s love at work in our lives.
P.S. If you were ever privileged to visit my friend, nearly paralyzed with ALS, the one thing you could still see at work in him is the joy of the Lord in his eyes. It’s really quite remarkable. I can’t imagine suffering more, and yet the grace of God has continued to be evident in his life. If you think about it, join me in expectantly praying for my early morning dream to become true… that George would one day sit up then speak up then rise up.