Keeping our Expectations on God:
“My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.”—Psalm 62:5
When we pray we do so with hope…
Hope that, firstly, God’s love is great enough that He cares what His creation says…
And secondly, that He truly listens and will answer.
Yet, for all of us, there can still be moments or prayers where we do not enter in with expectation.
It can be hard for us to believe He listens, let alone, answers our prayers…
There are many reasons for this ranging from a belief that our prayer is “too big” or that we are somehow not worthy of an answer. But God ALWAYS answers prayer! At times the answer may be “no,” but He answers, and for our good. He never leaves us uncertain.
Coming before God expecting an answer is a sign of trust; a confirmation that He alone has our trust and hope…
Because He never changes!
Because His Word promises that He desires good for us!
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”—Hebrews 13:8
God desires to bless us beyond our “wildest” imaginations!
Yet, when we fail to go to Him—or go without the expectation of a favorable response—it is almost like we are not even asking…
We are virtually praying with a counter expectation, one where we believe the outcome to be rejection.
Basically we are telling ourselves before-hand not to expect anything from God, and that lack of joyful expectation can hold back the fulfillment of our requests… His promises!
Continuing in Expectation:
Even when we are able to go before God in expectation, the emotion we often associate with it can fade as time goes by.
We can correlate too closely with “delay” and “no;” treating the two as if they are the same…
Yet, often our timing and God’s do not line up.
Sometimes we are not ready for the blessing, or season God has promised, and it is “delayed.”
However, even with this knowledge, our flesh is often impatient. When something does not happen when we desire it, we can take that as rejection and cease to expect it, or, at the very least, lower our expectations.
God has amazing plans for each and every one of us, yet, when we cease to expect God’s goodness for our lives, we begin to settle… and settling is not part of God’s orchestration.
God’s children are meant to expect the gifts and blessings of “King’s kids.” To expect the blessings of being adopted by the Creator of the Universe! Of being the beloved of Jesus… His bride! Of simply being loved!
Because we are loved of God, we are called to be blessed and be blessings in return…
We are meant to expect God’s goodness!
Expectation in Day to Day Life:
To live in daily expectation is to be open to what God brings and not be discouraged when things fail to go our way. Yet, it is also remembering that God desires us to be blessed and to bless others… that we are to expect His goodness daily.
Sometimes the fruition of this expectation is shown through simple blessings…
Such as: through getting your preferred parking space at the grocery store; through finding a flower blossoming after a long winter; through seeing a rainbow on your way to work; through hearing your favorite song playing.
These simple things, when we live expecting God’s goodness, can become what they in essence are… love-notes from God.
Other times the fruition of this expectation is shown in major ways…
For instance: through receiving a promotion at work; through a word of knowledge confirming what God has told you; through recognition of your efforts by those you respect; through a prophecy coming to pass.
All these examples are things that are hard to miss as being signs of God’s love and goodness. Yet, when we are expecting God’s goodness, they become even more powerful. The expectation opens our hearts and minds to God’s timing; it helps prepare us so there is no delay.
Still, there are days where it can be hard to see the goodness of God… not because it is not there, but because our expectations do not align with His plans, or because we simply do not have our eyes open to expect His goodness.
When days come where nothing seems to go right… where you spill your coffee all over your white shirt halfway to an important meeting, lack time to even grab lunch, have your wallet stolen, and fail to meet your deadlines, it can seem as if God does not desire good for you. It can be hard to expect good things when every time you turn around something goes wrong…
Yet, God does not change. Even on the darkest days of our lives, when it feels as if our hearts might break, God desires good for us. He wants us to remember that and to expect His goodness.
How do We Maintain Expectant Hearts?
“Pain is temporary, but quitting is permanent.”
Since God does not change, there is no reason our expectations of Him should alter. Yet, as Matthew 26:41 and Mark 14:38 say, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
We have to remind ourselves to expect good things from God.
We have to remember to ask God to help us live expectantly.
We have to soak ourselves in His Word so that we know and remember WHY we are to come before Him, living each day in expectation.
“For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”—Philippians 1:19-21
If there were to be a list of things we ought to do to strengthen our hearts and increase our expectation in God it would likely include:
- Thinking upon the good things that have happened—the blessings from God
- Spending time in His Word
- Having fellowship with Believers
- Sharing our testimonies of God’s goodness with others; listening to their testimonies in turn
- Minding the Holy Spirit
- Reading/watching/listening to testimonies, devotionals, and other reminders of who God is
- Reading/watching/listening to messages from Pastors, Rabbis, and other spiritual leaders
- Spending time with God
- Keeping our eyes open to the beauty and goodness around us
- Sharing God’s kindness with others
- And so much more…
When we remember what God has done for us and others before; remembering His Word, and spreading His love to others through kindness…
We open ourselves up to blessings…
We open ourselves up to living every single day of our lives with the expectation of His goodness!
Let us remember Jeremiah 29:11 with expectation,
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Let us remember that God desires good for us, and live our lives with expectation that He will give it.