High Expectations

I read somewhere that if your expectations are low enough, you’ll never be disappointed. In Paul’s case he had both high expectations and zero tolerance for disappointment. His expectations were pounded in to the hardpan reality of inevitable vindication. He anchored his expectations to the one who could never fail. Therefore he could accept imprisonment. The outcome of his trial on earth had no bearing on the distribution of his reward in heaven. God’s court has already spoken. Looking past Caesar, Paul fixes “eager anticipation” (Philippians 1:20) to the purpose of Christ. Romans 8:18-21 says creation longs for the return of Christ and the fulfillment of all things. Paul lived every day with the knowledge that Christ could appear at any moment, and with him the vindication he sought. However he didn’t himself become idle with the expectation that Christ would appear at any moment, and give up the zealous drive to advance the Gospel. There was a long road ahead and he didn’t get sidetracked with the fear of being left behind. Paul’s imprisonment is a predetermined event in the unfolding of redemptive history. He is playing the part God cast him in, and in that he rejoices.