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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Greater Expectations

Expect the most from Jesus.

Patrick (14)

                              For I can see
that even now the Lord exalted me,
though I unworthy am of this and of
the way He has provided in His love
for me. I know that I am better fit
for poverty and trouble than to sit
in luxury and wealth. Just so the Lord
was poor for us, as it is in His Word
recorded. I am indigent and poor,
and even if I ever wanted more
than this, I do not have it. This is how
I estimate myself before Him now;
and daily I expect that I will be
betrayed or killed or put in slavery
again, or something of the kind. And yet,
because His Word is sure, I do not let
such things deter or frighten me. For I
have thrown myself upon the Lord Most High,
Who reigns throughout the earth and sky, just as
the prophet says, “On Him your burdens cast,
and all your cares; He will sustain you.”

 - Patrick, Confession

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

 - 2 Corinthians 4.16-18

We should not think that Patrick’s ministry in Ireland was always welcomed. Many in Irish society would have regarded him as a threat—petty kings, druids and other religious hucksters, slavers, and more. Others would have regarded him as those did who first transported him away from Ireland, as a commodity to sell to the highest bidder.

Patrick was not unrealistic in his expectations. He seems to have been surprised, and a little irritated, about the British bishops attempt to recall him on spurious charges. But their jealousy and attempt to pull rank was but a temporary concern. His daily expectations were by far more pressing, but through them all, he looked to Jesus and trusted in Him to meet his needs.

We recall that Patrick never sought recompense for his ministry. People did support him, but he refused personal gifts and always lived on the cusp of poverty and want. But this did not concern him, either, for he came to Ireland expecting this would be the case.

Daily, he reports, he expected either to be betrayed by one of his associates, killed by an enemy, or taken captive and sold into slavery. Try living for a day or two with those kinds of expectations. Most of us would choose to stay home and stay safe, rather than to push on to the next village and call people to repentance and faith in Jesus.

Patrick was able to bear up and persevere under such daily expectations because he held on to greater expectations than these. He looked to Jesus, reigning in glory, to provide for his needs, deliver him from adversaries, and receive him into glory when his earthly life had run its course. Like Paul, Patrick trained his soul to look to the realm of unseen things, where Jesus is seated in glory, saints and angels surround Him with constant praise, and grace flows by the Spirit to provide for all our needs. His faith was validated and renewed by the continuous evidence of “things not seen” working in, for, and through him (Heb. 11.1).

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3.1, 2). Paul believed that seeing Jesus, exalted in glory, was the way to overcome all adversity and persevere through every trial. Patrick proved that every day of his long ministry. We may see Him with the eyes of our heart, where our desire for Him increases daily as we see more of Him in His Word (Eph. 1.15ff). As we roll our burdens on the Lord day by day (1 Pet. 5.6, 7), meditating on His beauty, resting in His power, clinging to His Word, and seeking the filling of His Spirit, He will grant us grace to accomplish whatever He has appointed for us and to endure whatever He thinks best.

Expect to see Jesus, exalted in glory. Expect that He will receive you and welcome your prayers. Expect that His grace is sufficient for all your needs, that He will cause His grace to abound to you in every situation, and that He will never fail you nor forsake you. Expect that His Spirit will be at work in you to will and do of His good pleasure. And with such great expectations firmly lodged in your soul, go like Patrick with confidence and joy to do the work appointed to you day by day.

For Reflection
1. How would you describe Jesus, seated in glory? When you turn the eyes of your heart in that direction, what do you see?

2. What do you expect Jesus to do through you today?

Psalm 26.8-12 (Aberystwyth: Jesus, Lover of My Soul)
LORD, I love Your dwelling place, there where all Your glories shine.
Keep my soul before Your face, lest for sinful ways it pine.
As for me, in righteousness, I shall walk on level ground.
Save me, LORD, renew and bless! Let me with Your Church be found!

Lord, I expect You to be with me throughout this day so that I may…

T. M. Moore

Patrick’s Legacy
You can read more about the impact of Patrick’s ministry in our book, The Legacy of Patrick. Here you’ll learn how Patrick’s work has affected generations of Christians down to our own day. Order your copy by clicking here.

Support for Crosfigell comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

And please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe with your prayers and gifts. You can contribute online, via PayPal or Anedot, or by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 103 Reynolds Lane, West Grove, PA 19390.

All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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