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An Expectant Heart

Each circumstance and situation that we find ourselves in affects our heart - Sometimes physically, often on an emotional level, and always in the arena of our spiritual lives. Jesus cares passionately about our heart and our soul and longs to fulfill the God-aligned expectations that we have. Often though, life's experiences can harm our hearts. The pain, the disappointment, and the struggles of life cause our hearts to become smaller and can often suffocate our souls. Our initial challenge after disappointments come regards how we can keep our heart open to the beautiful things that God wants to do in and through us.

In Luke 8: 40-56, we see two characters that come to Jesus with expectant hearts. A synagogue leader called Jairus, whose only child is near to death, and an unnamed woman who had been sick for a very long time. Each of these people brings their expectant hearts to Jesus - the only one who can meet their expectations. As we look at their lives, they both do four things that provide us with pointers to keep our hearts open under challenging circumstances.

1. They both had a desperate desire for Jesus. (Verses 41 & 43) Although being a prestigious community leader, Jairus cared most about his sick daughter. She was near to death, and the only one who offered any hope of healing was Jesus. Jairus is desperate for Jesus to do what he knew he could do. The woman had been treated by many doctors and spent all of her trying to find some healing, but no one could heal her. She had a desperate desire for the things that Jesus offered. If you want to keep you expectant and open, it begins by realizing that Jesus is the only one who can fulfill us and having a desperate desire for him.

2. They both expressed their internal faith in external action. (Verses 41 & 44) For the woman, this meant that she approached Jesus from behind him and gently touched the hem of his robe. For Jairus, this meant leaving his daughter's bedside to seek Jesus out and ask him to come and intervene. They both believed internally that Jesus could heal… but they didn't just sit there waiting. They let their internal faith express itself in external action. How does your internal faith express itself?

3. They both had vulnerability and honesty before God. (Verses 41 & 47)It took a lot of courage for Jairus to humble himself from his position of pride and plead with Jesus to heal his daughter. It took a lot of courage for the lady to confess before a large crowd that she was ceremoniously unclean and that she had been brushing against them (making them 'unclean') as she walked towards Jesus. However, Christ looked upon their vulnerability and honesty about their situation favorably. Why is it that we often have a hard time being honest with the God who knows everything about us and loves us anyway? An expectant heart is a vulnerable heart.

4. Jesus kept reminding them to have hope. (Verses 50 & 52)While heading to Jairus' house, twice, people tried to rob Jairus of his hope. At first, a messenger arrives, saying that his daughter has died. As Jairus' hope must have begun to plummet, Jesus quickly reassures him, "Keep the Faith – hold on to Hope." As they arrived at his home, the weeping of the professional mourners annoyed Jesus. "Be quiet," he said, "The girl is not dead. She is just sleeping. Jesus is saying that things that we often see as permanent, he sees as temporary. Again, he is filling Jairus with hope. How is your hope quotient? Never, ever lose hope. Is your heart open and expectant to the things of God? It needs to be – because God has made some wonderful promises that he wants to fulfill within you.

Have an expectant heart.

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