Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Alert Expectancy: Romans 5: 3-5 devotional

Soul Cries,a devotional written for parents of special needs children, copyright Regan 2012

*2013 National Indie Excellence Award Finalist*






Romans 5:3-5 (The Message)

There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!


I can relate to Paul’s description of “how troubles can develop passionate patience in us.” I love the term “passionate patience.” It is not a patience of deadness or passivity. There is not a quality of being stuck, but rather of passion and expectancy embedded with endurance and waiting on the Lord. This patience helps keep us “alert for whatever God will do next.” I see in my own life that when I am pressed on all sides with trouble, I hone my focus. The intensity and endurance required during these seasons compel me to set my face on God without compromise or flinching. I believe this is what Paul describes as “alert expectancy.”

This “alert expectancy,” the constant scanning of the horizon for God, is what leaves us never “feeling shortchanged;” because we can’t miss what God is doing, we are focused and without compromise. We expect to see Him, and we do. Of course, I love the last visual image. Paul says that, in the end, “We can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!” I don’t know about you, but I could probably round up a lot of containers, but not enough to limit God, who always works in abundance!

1. In what ways do your troubles work to increase your focus on God? Do you know what it is to watch with “alert expectancy?”

2. In what ways have you experienced God’s abundance? What has the Holy Spirit poured into your life?