Expectation. To state of looking forward or anticipating.
We have them for everyone and everything. For others. For ourselves. Even for God. We expect people to behave certain ways based on our experiences with them. We also expect God to behave in certain ways, based on our expectations of our goals.
We should always expect God to move on our behalf. He won’t always do it the way we want, in the timing we want, or with the answer we want. But He does always work for us – for our good and His glory.
David realized this when he wrote Psalm 62. In Psalm 62:5-7, David proclaims “My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. 6 He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. 7 In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God.”
David realized he could always expect God to care about him. To take care of him. To make him the victor, despite the people coming against him. To forgive him, no matter how many mistakes he made. To be with him, no matter which (selfish) way he went.
The lame man in Acts 3 also realized it. When he encountered Peter and John going into the temple, he was begging. He didn’t expect anything but a coin or two from them. He definitely didn’t expect what did happen. Peter and John were able to see the lame man as Jesus would, as an opportunity to heal him and set him free of his impairment. So in Acts 3:4, Peter tells him “Look at us”. He’s telling him to connect with them, to stop looking at his shame and disgrace and to look at a new possibility. And the lame man gets it. In Acts 3:5, “he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.” He expected, and God showed up. The man runs and jumps his way into the temple, the man who since birth had been unable to walk.
Hannah also realized it. She is a married woman who has borne no children, a shame in her time. Her fellow wife, Peninnah, “provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the Lord had closed her womb” (1 Samuel 1:6), reminding her constantly who the better woman was. But Hannah loved God, and Hannah expected God to love her. Through her tears in the temple, she begged God to give her a son, which she vowed to then return to His service. She expected, and she poured out those expectations in prayer. And God met her at her expectations and gave her Samuel, a great prophet of Israel.
God always meets us at our expectations.
So what are you really expecting from God?
Do you expect Him to disappoint you?
Do you expect Him to answer every prayer with a “yes”?
Do you expect Him to move immediately on your behalf?
Or do you expect Him to give you His best?
Do you expect Him to answer your prayers to guide you to His best?
Do you expect him to take the time needed to prepare you for His best?
So ask yourself – what am I expecting from God? Then ask yourself – is it realistic?
God can adjust your expectations to His purposes. God can touch your heart to fill it with Him. You can be in the midst of a trial and expect God to bring good for you (Romans 8:28). You can be in the middle of a storm and expect God to be walking on water toward you (Matthew 14:25). You can have few physical resources and expect God to abundantly provide (Matthew 14:19, 1 Kings 17:16).
Matthew 5:6 says “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.” Happy and peaceful are those who expect God to love them and come through for them, for He shall not disappoint.
What are you expecting? God will meet you there.
Marie Fremin, 1/5-6/16