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Great Expectations

John Bradshaw


God is able to turn around the most challenging situation. Join Pastor John Bradshaw for “Great Expectations” and encounter the God who brings light out of darkness.


John Bradshaw

President of It Is Written



  • April 18, 2020
    10:00 AM
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Thanks so much for joining me we are about to open the Bible together I hope you're well and blessed and encouraged in the Lord if you're not maybe you will be off that we've spent these minutes together come on let's pray and we would expect that God will speak to a hot. Father in heaven thank you for the privilege we have to come to you would speak to us through it we ask you and lead us by your Spirit in Jesus name Amen young family had been planning a vacation to Florida's Gulf Coast for some time the young children couldn't white mom and dad knew it was the time they had needed so they headed in that direction with a deep sense of relief that ha this is going to be a great sense of relief but their relief was turned upside down they arrived on the Gulf Coast to discover the beaches they had hoped to play on and swim at were afflicted by something called red Tom I guess it's when the water can take on a reddish brown color because of something called phytoplankton They're little things but oh synthesizing microscopic biota organisms for the most part they cannot be seen by the unaided human eye they are little but blooms of these things can collect and kill marine life things dolphins even they can infect shellfish and they can make the beaches stink. Family was hoping to swim but could not the water they said would make our eyes burn and the smell was overwhelming. They have big hopes for a fun family vacation disappeared in a red tide being Alabama you might think it was a Crimson Tide but no it was a red tide you've had your hopes dashed before you go to ask that certain someone to the senior banquet but someone beat you to it you wanted to buy that house but someone got there 1st you intended to spend Thanksgiving with your parents but bad weather or your job or an illness meant that it wasn't going to be that way this year but what about this along came the novel coronavirus it shut down the Olympics athletes have been looking forward to the Olympics and straining and training Wimbledon was can the boss cripple season was interrupted waiting and funerals and graduations were all interrupted in many cases rescheduled schools started doing online classes we had a memorial service plan for my own mother postponed for at least 6 months big family gatherings of all kind pushed to the side what now we wonder Well there are times that life hands you a lemonade and then you go ahead and make lemon Basler spirits and you can lead that God is in control Well that's what happened here read it is written we had been planning meetings in Indianapolis we were so excited but challenges came not in the form of plankton but in the form of something even smaller virus Well things morphed and instead of being local in one city revelation today hope awakens became global with tens of thousands of people participating from all around the world. When we come to the Bible we see it's an entire book about expectations being dash and then gone bringing something good even great out of it I could talk about Revelation 10 in the great disappointment but that's too predictable you're expecting that already So instead let's talk about some different things I want to go with you in the Bible to 2nd Kings Chapter 4 where there was tremendous disappointment and yet the God of Heaven the great God of heaven brought something wonderful out of that doc this 2nd Kings chapter for we start in verse one the Bible says now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto a life say by servant my husband is dead and then noticed that I servant did feel the Lord and the creditor is come to take unto him my 2 sons to be beyond me and imagine that now a widow they were going to take away her 2 boys because a husband died owing money this was desperate desperate What could possibly turn around here well we reverse to any lie she said unto her what shall I do for they tell me what hast thou in the house and she said hand-made have not anything in the house save a part of oil imagine that you went to kitchen nothing you looked in the pantry nothing you looked through the cupboards all you found was a little container with what we're going to presume was all of all how could your life turn around based on that way is the hope well here comes hope it's in 2nd Kings for in verse 3 then he said Go borrow the vessels abroad of all the neighbors even empty vessels. Borrow not a few he said don't skim get as many as you can borrow not a few that means borrow many books for and window out Come in shut the door upon the end upon my sons and shout poor out into all those vessels and shout set aside that which is full and notice something he don't want of a look this you and your sons the prophet didn't say have your sons go on down the road and play with their friends the prophets it keep the boys there I want them to see this listen when you a praying for something is a family involved the children when daughter says a prayer tell the kids when you're praying for rain and it's dry all praying for dry weather and this right have the children pray and when gone and says their prayers the children are going to say God is real this is fantastic invest yourself in involving the children in the spiritual experiences of the family and those spiritual experiences will define their lives why did she do. Those 5 says so she went from him and shut the door upon her and upon his son's which brought the vessels to her and she poured out did this take fatal water all she had was a little oil the prophet said you going to tip that oil out that's what I'm here that's what I'm relying on for my survival no to put out it's all I have to put out this is like the lady with the the 2 lights it's like the boy with the loaves and the fish if you don't have much bring it to Jesus and watch him bless and verse 6 says and it came to pass when the vessels were full that she said unto a son bring me yet a vessel bring another one and he said there is not a vessel law and the oil stayed imagine this the neighbors are wondering what those boys are doing bringing vessel off the vessel job after job to the house by now the whole place smells of that beautiful aroma of all of anybody passing by said what in the world have I passed an olive oil factory I didn't know that dear old lady was dealing in all of us there is no more and now the oil stopped as long as she was pouring out. There would be more it's a little bit like that with our finances as long as we give to God God will keep supplying and resupplying us the verse 7 says then she came and told the man of God and he said Go sell the oil and pay the idea and live and die children of the wrist this poor widow you know she didn't get a husband back no that's not what God did this pool widow exercised faith and she went from poverty to being an oil baron How about that. Did this point was deep it was via It was Doc But what did God do God made up lack and provided she got to keep the 2 boys and God revealed to hood to the boys to the people in that town and to us thousands of years later that here is a great guy. Who can bring great things even out about disappointments we can even when things turn upside down live with great expectation we can because God is in the business of doing something great great things you know the Bible says All things work together for good it doesn't mean that all things are good but it means that God is at work in every circumstance and keep in mind not merely to pleasaunce but to own a heaven and to help others to see that there is a God in heaven all right I've got another story similar but different We're going to go to the Gospel of St Luke now the Gospel of Luke Chapter 7 and we're going to start in those 11 Luke 711 and it came to pass the day after that he went into a city called Nayan and many of his disciples went with him and much people verse 12 now when he came nigh to the gate of the city behold there was a dead man carried out the only son of his mother and she was a widow and much people of the city was with see this now. Here was Jesus and a crowd here was a few reports session another crowd Jesus was in the middle a dead man his widow mother was about to bury him he was her source of support what would she have now with him died all of. This was going to be hopeless except Jesus came Jesus entered into this thing and you know what he does cancel the funeral verse 13 Luke 7 and verse 13 and when the Lord saw her he had compassion on her and said unto her. Not what kind of advice is that to give somebody who's just lost a son and is now burying the Son This Jesus it seems didn't always make a whole lot of sense in the eyes of those who were standing by but this was Jesus getting ready to do something great getting ready to bring some bring something big out of a disaster verse 14 and he came and touched the beer and that bear him stood still and he said young men I say unto thee arise and he that was dead sat up and began to speak and he delivered him to his mother and they came of fear on all and they glorified God saying that a great prophet is risen among us and that God has visited his people they glorify God not just a moment think about how God is is making something wonderful over all of these situations when that young man died the lady's life was destroyed but imagine you are a believer and God says to you something's going to happen in your life and you can't see it but it is going to bring great honor and glory to make. A little bit like Job circumstances all might I say just like Job's circumstances Joe couldn't see what was taking place behind the veil God didn't come to Joe but explain to now listen job you're going to go through some misery here in fact a lot of misery by it's going to bless generations for millennia people will see a clearer picture of what I'm like and you will go to glorify me if God had come to a job and explain that to him Joe would have said I'm in do whatever you want if it's going to glorify you now you know that God isn't going to allow anything to happen to you that won't ultimately glorify Him I don't understand how that accident to glorify God that's Ok God understands I don't understand how that amputation how that injury how that loss how that death in the family how that financial crisis could glorify God God hasn't told us to understand he's called us to trust and it's not God lifting something on you just so he can shine a light on himself daughter allows things to take place knowing that they will grow out faith and knowing that they will enable other people to see what God is really like you see we are in this world for the glory of God That's why we're here and there are times that difficult circumstances come upon us but God is saying you white and something good will come out what if you had to wait until the resurrection on Resurrection morning you are not going to come out of the grave and shake your fist in God's face and say What were you thinking you're going to say Glory to God and the hardships of this what Paul described as a light affliction which indeed was for a moment that will be forgotten she lost a son now the funeral has been Ken's sold she had great expectations for that young man's life particularly when husband was gone no this boy would look up to this boy would see that she would even be comfortable into her old age this young man would take care of her. Be her protector and her provider This young men all of the hopes and dreams are gone but before they got to the cemetery as it was Jesus gave the young man back to the mother was a reunion what rejoicing No God doesn't do it just like I had somebody tell me one day he said my mother died and I prayed I'd be Louis that God was going to raise her up and bring it back to life God did not doesn't always work out like that in fact it works out like like that very infrequently but this is a foretaste of what's going to come on the resurrection morning pasta do I have to wait that long you know I think you probably do but it's not long now and on that great good morning graves are going to open up on who saw your cross the world and the redeemed will come forth never to see sickness or death ever again come on Hang in there with Jesus hang in there sometimes you you a light for a train and you think it's all over and yet you get to the station and there's been a hold up and you made your departure and everything's good important at the time because you had something to get to you couldn't afford to be like this was everything in your life really in context or in perspective a small thing but God was with you there he brought something great out of your god ship. Other times you lose a loved one God says well there isn't another train coming along the train has left the station what do you do then you trust you hang in there with God because in your future God is going to do something great hang in there with God We are disappointed daily People disappoint us people hurt us we sometimes get disappointed and hurt. By the people that we look up to and respect our loved ones may even turn on us all let us down friends may disappoint us unintentionally or intentionally but God won't ever let you down and he will get you over that difficulty he'll get you through that tough time and gone one day will split wide open space itself and we'll see Jesus coming back what a day of rejoicing that's going to be all right we're in the Gospel of Luke and we're going to Luke 5 and was starting for Luke Chapter 5 this is it right here and verse 4 in the Bible says when he had stopped speaking he said I'm just Simon launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a draft Now let's consider something here Simon is about to tell Jesus we've been fishing all night and Jesus advises him to do something. Not intuitive at least. No I don't know Jesus was a carpenter you know I don't know what he knew about fishing he grew up in Nazareth not too far from water that's for sure I expect he went fishing as a kid I'm going to guess that Jesus spent time out on somebody's fishing boat now and then that's my guess he may not but that's my guess he'd spend some time with these fellows I don't know what he knew about fishing here is a cop and advising a seasoned fisherman here's what you need to do Simon very politely on says him in verse 5 and he said to him Musto we have toiled all the night and have taken nothing Nevertheless I would I will let down the net I want you to see that this is a demonstration of faith also notice this was a man who later on was faithless but here he was strong and he had faith this was an up in the undue lation of ups and downs Jesus said I'd like you to do this Simon Peter Ronsard said it doesn't seem likely however at your word I will let down the net I'll do it because you say so that's the Christian experience God is dog His ways are above alway's as much as heaven is high above the earth and we don't always understand the to ing and fro ing the insides and the outside of God's doing but we can trust him nevertheless I'll do it because he said so now what happened verse 6 and when they had this done and closed a great multitude of fishes and they met break and they beckoned on to their partners which were in the other ship that they should come and help them and they came and filled both the ships so that they began to sink we were there but I imagine this Peter throwing is now while the guys in the other boat coming to shore thinking what are you doing that we fished all night long did nothing out here it was a bad night and you are trying again Oh he said to do it. What happened so many things. That the net broke it in fact you're going to find here as you look at this you didn't have one sinking ship you had to sinking ships you know if you go to work at the office and your job is to answer the phones and the phone doesn't ring you go home and say I had an easy day you still get paid you go back tomorrow if you work in retail and the customers a few today you still get pay even if by some chance you actually serviced or served no customers it's not like that when you are self-employed if you pressure wash concrete and no one calls you don't learn anything if you fix people's drain pipes or their automobiles or you are a carpenter that you build houses or do home improvements and nobody calls you got no work today you don't eat today. And us fellows out on the water and there was no fish it was going to be a long day because they had nothing they would take nothing to the market they had nothing to take home to either in terms of fish their income was taking a hit. You can imagine them I don't know I don't know what I don't want to say they were moping their way back to shore but surely they were disappointed that they couldn't find any fish that night and Jesus turned it around like backed the Bible says Simon Peter was. Amazed it says in verse 8 that when he saw it he thel down at Jesus' knees saying Depart from me for I am a sinful man a load verse 9 for he was astonished and all that were within at the draft of the fishes which they had taken and so it was a James and John the sons of Zebedee which were partners with Simon and Jesus it on to Simon fear not from Henceforth you shall catch men and when they had brought their ships to land they forsook all and they followed him this was an indication of what Jesus can do now think this through with me you go out working it was a down day Jesus says I'll make that up for you it's like you're a salesman and you get to the end of the day a salesperson and you get to the end of the day and suddenly it just comes in an avalanche and you lost customer buys up everything you have and a bad day turned into a good day this is what happened for Peta and his friends except that except that there is a lesson here for us this lesson is about sharing your faith and show your witness to your neighbor and your neighbors not interested and you witness to your brother and sister in law and they are not interested and you're letting a light shine way you work and no one seems to respond and you distribute literature and no one seems to really chaos you don't have times like that Jesus assured Peter from now on you'll catch men you will be a fisher of human beings and so out he went and it's not that everybody he shared with. Ran into the baptistery and said I want to become a disciple of Jesus Christ there will lean days but there were good days look if you're sharing your faith look beyond the lean days don't let that great expectation of sharing your faith. Don't let that drive you to despair when you see nobody respond because it's going to happen and if you share your faith remember this witnessing for Christ is better for you than anybody it is growing you and your relationship with Jesus maybe I should say as good for you as it is for anybody we share and God will give the give the increase that's what Paul said he talked about once sowing in another watering and God adding the blessing. And then leave it with gone we want to act intelligently and prayerfully and carefully but God is the one who takes responsibility for for bringing the scenes that we sow to life come on now don't back off don't stop sharing if they don't stop giving out tracts and book sin d.v.d. is in pointing people to websites don't stop sharing your personal testimony don't stop inviting people to church and Bible study Don't stop don't stop testifying for the Lord don't stop telling people about what God has done for you so those gospel seeds and God will grow them up so that they were result in a guru right Hollis but I've been fishing all night no one's taking the bait hang in there one of these days Jesus is going to say cost of a young and when you do some many fish so many so you think the next might break Well there's another story we've got to look at it is also in the Gospel of Luke and it's late in the book Luke and Chapter 24 and when you get to Luke 24 we'll pick it up in verse 13 its shares and behold 2 of them went that same day to a village called m a s which was from Jerusalem about 3 score 60 long that's about 7 miles. And they talked together of all these things which would happen and it came to pass that while they commune together and reason Jesus himself and went what they have what with these things this was just post crucifixion they were talking about the death of Jesus on the cross and verse 16 says their eyes were holden that they should not know him not Jesus asked them an amazing question he said to them in verse 17 what manner of communication is the ease that you have one to another as you walk and are sad and one of them whose name was clear pass on Tshering said on to him you only a stranger in Jerusalem and you have not known the things which have come to us there in these days was an incredible thing for Cleopus to say Jesus has him with one of the most remarkable questions and the Bible he said to them in verse 19 what things don't you know what happened and as Jesus walked on thinking looked at the nail prints in his hands and thought to himself gentlemen I have a fair idea. But instead he says to them what thing and they said unto him concerning Jesus of Nazareth which was a prophet mighty indeed and would be for God and all the people and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death that have crucified him now want you to notice something here in verse $21.00 they said to Jesus We trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel and beside all this today is the 3rd day since these things were done you notice what they said they said to Jesus you had us full We thought you were the Messiah No they didn't know that we're saying that to Jesus. We thought he was the deliver a what foods were we and then they out their own lack of faith by saying it's the 3rd day where as Jesus had said to them again and again I'm going to go down there and they are going to crucify me and gone. I am going to rise again but they weren't thinking they were barely listening to themselves they go on and they say in verse 22 yes and there were women who went to the sepals they went there they they didn't find this body and they came back and they said the most interesting thing they said that they had seen a vision look at this in verse 23 a vision of angels and the angel said that he was alive and certain of them which were with us went to the simple and found it even so as the women had said but they didn't see him Jesus the hood what they see aired and he said to them oh fools and slow of to believe old that the prophets have spoken or not Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into his glory then those 27 and beginning at Moses and all the prophets he expelled and unto them and all the scriptures the things concerning himself and so he went through Moses the prophet. Isaiah Jeremiah is the Keil sounds like he musta gone through in a helmet have back in Obadiah as if. Jonah the things concerning himself what a Bible study this was. 28 says that they when they got to the village say they he Jesus acted like he was going to go on but they should know no they constrain them they should know you got to stay with us abide with us It's evening time you got to stay come to our place have something to eat. Verse 30 says it came to pass as he said it meet with them he took bread and blessed didn't break and gave to them and their eyes were opened and they knew him and then event out of this sight. You know which they took they said to each other did no hot within us while he talked with us by the way and open to us the scriptures and you know what these men did according to 24 in verse $33.00 they rose up at the same hour they returned to Jerusalem they found the 11 gathered together in them that will with them when they said The Lord is risen indeed it has appeared to Simon there's a white when you hear what we have to tell you they ended up doing a half marathon on that day 7 miles out and 7 miles back 14 miles even greater than the 13 point one a half marathon think about this they believed that Jesus was the Messiah and then they saw Him crucified out there on an old rugged cross they hopes died and they had to have talked about how how they were mistaken you know but we saw the prophecy you know when the stake can be healed the sick what could that mean you know that had to have spoken to them he raised Lazarus from the dead what about that story we read earlier in the same chapter. You raised from the did the son of the would have named he fed the 5200 water into juice had to have thought really do about that because it had been a fraud or a phony he just could not have pain but he died that's not what we were expecting they me ended their way slowly and sadly to him a us Cheese's was with them. And their disappointment was turned to joy he was the Messiah Jesus lives he is the read their theology need to be adjusted ever so slightly but this was Jesus this was the savior this was the majesty of the heavens can you imagine a turnaround like that and I wonder if you would think about this from God's perspective in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth he made the world watch for so that we his creatures could reveal to the world the his character his glory great expectation but then came sin from the heights these are my children from the heights God getting down in the dirt and breathing is own breath in Adam's nostrils from La I saw these in my children we spent time together. They did it's a snake in a tree an act of all faith lesson yes a leaf dies animal sacrifice Cain killed Abel and God watch the whole thing on wrath all from the heights to the dam it's. But as soon as there were sin there was a savior Jesus was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world what happened the Council of peace took place in heaven and it was decided that Jesus would come to the earth as the Ridhima for all of humankind and he came to this and he lived as a man and was so cruelly treated despised and rejected a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief but you know the Bible says that Jesus be old of the travail of his soul and was satisfied think about that Jesus looked ahead and he said I know what I'm going to go through but I'll do that because it's worth it I'm satisfied I don't want to die on the cross you remember Jesus himself cried out to his father my God my dog repeating the words of David in Psalm 22 why have you forsaken me but he looked ahead to that and he said it's worth it because they'll be redeemed people down in the close of time redeemed people of all ages you know why it was worth it because Jesus looked down through time and saw you and he said for. He said for him to be with it he saw your children and your grandchildren Oh wait though some of them are far from God Yeah as he saw that too and he saw his holy spirit going off to them like the prodigal son was put a suit he saw he saw them coming back and you can see that by faith Jesus said I'll die it's worth it God looked down at creation and he wondered what if this should go wrong even if Heaven has to pay the ultimate price it will be worth it for yourselves ation there was a widow whose husband died they were going to take away her boys it couldn't get worse. And God turned around there was a would have Whose boy had been taken away heading to the cemetery as she whipped and grieved and mourned Jesus intervened and tuned it all around the stakes were a little less high as fishermen were coming back after a night of toil they had taken nothing it would be a quiet day for them no market place to visit it was not necessary maybe they would clean all mended nets do something on the boat something around the house but Jesus turned around and I just wonder what kind of response they got at the market when people say to have could you of course so many fish and I'd like to think that they were some of the best fish that ever turned up at market from nothing in unit to a creaking breaking it from nothing in your boat to a sinking boat Yea verily to sinking. Can God tune things around oh yes he can turn them around for you oh yes he can and please hear me no we're not in this world to get rich we're not in this world to have the most prestigious we're not in this world to occupy position if you have any of that thank God God has placed you there he's given you a way he responsibility but we don't come to faith in God just so we can have full nets just so we can have bread to eat and. That's a byproduct of coming to God We come to God because Jesus died for us because God so loved the world because heaven said I want to save them not last because divinity said I can do something about your sin because the majesty of the heavens said I can give you a new high. Because Jehovah God Himself said. I want to spend eternity with you God saw something in you Jesus came to die for you and when he died why did the people say you know when Jesus went to the cross he had precious few friends and up to the cross is free and what a mistake we made that would never happen to the Messiah so we came back and he said let's think this thing through Let's think. He's truly the messiah he's coming back soon and that place of hope was God's Hope as Jesus hung on the cross his own son the ripped away from the Heart of Heaven by wicked and sinful man the grave couldn't contain him and an angel rolled away that great stone out in front of Joseph new to men Jesus paying for with glorified Rob Oh I Mary cried Jesus said don't detain me I've got to go to your father and my father but I'll be back that hope even Boyd the heart of God God look forward to that and we look forward to that too you know on the day when Jesus comes back the happiest person in town will be God himself satisfied satisfied and will look up and will say load this is God We have waited for him. And he will save us I can't be certain just what you're dealing with right now but it seems like every high carries a burden and a weight but you carrying one I think you might think. Is it something so heavy that you wonder how you're possibly going to get through is it something so heavy that it's causing your faith to stretch almost to breaking point oh hold on now let's reassess this thing and say there is still a god he is still great and Jesus still occupies Heaven's throne he's still coming back. The best is yet to come we may today have great expectations in spite of the disappointments and difficulties because beyond doubt teasin through heartbreak and on the other side of our frustrations and broken dreams and shattered helps there is a savior soon to reach. You give you a new hot today and the assurance of everlasting life if you say yes would you say yes with me would you say yes with me now and believe that Jesus is coming back soon for you come on let us pray all Father in heaven. We're grateful today for hope for Jesus for salvation for certainty life sometimes brings circumstances that place us make things very difficult. But thank you that we can cling to our greatest expectation Jesus is coming back soon boy us up give us hope and faith always we claim it in Jesus and we pray in Jesus name let's say Amen and Amen thank you for joining me and I'm hoping that you'll join me tonight for revelation today hope awakens here on it is written t.v. you can join us on our online platform by registering at Hope awakens dot com and be part of the interactive aspects of revelation today hope awakens. Join us tonight here on a desert and t.v. 7 o'clock Eastern for joining us on our hope awakens platform register at Hope awakens dot com Look forward to seeing you then.


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