“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved.” Psalm 62:5,6
When my husband and I were dating, he had his “best foot forward” (and so did I!). He would bring me flowers, and gifts, and candy, just to make me happy. Well. We are on our 35th year of marriage, and if I waited at the door each day expecting him to bring me flowers and candy when he came home from a long, hard day of work, my expectations would be dashed, and I would spend every evening angry and frustrated because my expectations were not met. I might even get myself worked up some days and take matters into my own hands and just buy myself some flowers and chocolate because he sure isn’t going to do it!! Those expectations would be unrealistic, and he never promised me roses and chocolates every day, but do you see how our expectations can affect our emotions and our attitudes?
Our expectations can become idolatry.
How about you? What do you expect from God? Are your expectations of Him realistically in line with what He has promised?
Has God really ever promised us:
Every desire fulfilled? Approval of man?
A comfortable life? An easy life?
A persecution-free life? A sorrow-free life?
So, why do we act surprised, when along comes a “…fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you” (1 Peter 4:12)? When our expectations are unbiblical and unrealistic, they get dashed, and we, in our human flesh, tend to get angry at God for not doing what we thought He should, or we get anxious and take matters into our own hands and try to do it my way!
It goes like this: We see something we like, and we want it (no problem so far), but then we rationalize that we NEED it, that we’ve gotta have it, and then we quickly get to the point where we will sin to get it. What it boils down to, is UNBELIEF. Unbelief is thinking wrong thoughts about God, being discontent because we don’t think God has met our “needs.” James puts it this way:
“From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:1-4)
My husband has been talking about this in the Adult Sunday School class he teaches, it has been very convicting…
So, what should our expectations be based on? What SHOULD we do?
Study those things that God HAS promised us – His power, His protection, His presence, His Love, His strength when I am weak, His help in times of trouble, His answers to our prayers, His salvation when we believe in the Lord Jesus, and His eternal home in Heaven for those who trust in Christ.
If we set our expectations on God and His promises, we will not be disappointed or discontent, we will “rejoice in the Lord always…” (Philippians 4:4).
I don’t know about you, but I know where I am placing my expectations – not on human beings, or on material things, or on circumstances – but on my Lord and my God!
~Graced and Grateful Grammy
I have Great Expectations in my Lord!