Do you get what you want, or do you get what you deserve? How many times have we heard the expression, “I knew that was going to happen!” We have other frustration statements we use, and many of these express an expected negativity in our lives. What makes a difference between good and bad expectations? How does our faith and hope affect our expectations, and how are these reflected in those expectations?
Faith, hope, and love are all elements that are supposed to fill our lives, and all of these imply a trust in our God. I Thessalonians 1:3 speaks of these three in terms of action and attitude. These work together, and they will affect the expectations we have in our lives. Faith relies on hope in God and His promises, expecting Him to deliver on those promises. I John 3:3 speaks of a hope we have fixated upon God, and I Peter 1:13 encourages us to hope in the grace of Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 11:5-6 reveals some more details about the Enoch we are briefly introduced to in Genesis 5:24. He is described as having never seen death, and this is the direct result of his faith – the hopeful expectations he placed on God. II Corinthians 5:7 simply states that faith guides us, and Paul goes on to express His expectation to be delivered by Christ and present with God, an idea also reflected in Colossians 1:5.
James 1:5 speaks of us entreating God for wisdom, but verse 6 speaks to the expectations we should have when praying to God. We are to pray with the expectation that God will listen to and answer us. Our cynical expectations keep us from Him.
Triumph in Faith
Hebrews 11:1-3 gives us a definition of faith, and this definition includes expectations – hopeful expectations that may contradict what we see in this world. Then, the author goes on to describe several examples of people acting upon hopeful faith. Abel is cited as one acting upon faith based on his sacrifice to God, and Noah took action to prepare for an event he had no physical evidence on which to base expectations.
In verse 8, the author speaks of Abraham who left his home to seek a land he had not seen. Abraham expected to be led despite his ignorance of the destination. He had faith that God would work good in him. Romans 8:28 reflects this confidence, and the preceding verses encourages to have hopeful expectations and trust in God.
Ephesians 3:20 describes God as being able to deliver beyond anything we can imagine. So often, we set our expectations for God, for others, and for ourselves at such a low level, we can’t help but have those expectations fulfilled. Our expectations can only be enhanced by what we tell ourselves to expect. Edification starts within ourselves. I Peter 5:8-9 describes a devouring power, seeking to consume our souls, but faith resists this power. It gives us the hope to lift ourselves above those snares.
Our faith and hope motivate the expectations in our lives. We can set our bar high, or we can set it low. However, if we set it on God, we know that He will help us achieve our goal of being with Him.
lesson by Mike Mahoney