Updated: Oct 7, 2020
A counselor once told me that my expectations were future disappointments...and it made me angry. I thought to myself, ‘What?!?! I can’t expect ANYTHING in life?’.
The problem with expectations is that they’re usually based on our own logic and desires. Even though I’m the first to recognize that my plans aren’t nearly as good and wise as God’s, I still hang on to my entitlement. Somewhere along
the way, we've learned that if we work hard enough, we deserve the things we expect. And we keep chomping away at that idea, over and over, even when we're fully aware that nothing we do can guarantee what we expect.
We expect certain things out of our relationships with others --- knowing full well that people
never be able to meet them all. We expect that the plans we put on our calendars to come to fruition. We expect leaders to make certain decisions and act a certain way.
Many of our expectations we've never even verbalized, but they roll around in our heads and we live with them constantly underneath the surface of our every day.
Expectation and hope are entirely different things. As believers, we’re called to have a great hope...and a singular expectation: that a good God is in control and will continue to guide us.
Hope is flexible. Hope is involved in the process, but also acknowledges God’s sovereignty and activity in our lives. Hope isn’t defeated when things ‘don’t go our way’.
Expectations center on outcomes. Hope centers on Jesus.
Expectations hinge on our work and worth. Hope hinges on Jesus: His sacrifice and His continued involvement and intercession in our lives.
If we’re not mindful, the year could be a culmination of disappointments that we steep in. But hope (in Jesus) calls us to continue our journey of faith that trusts He is working things for our good, but even more so for His glory.
And while we're on hope...let's be reminded that there's really only one that's worth our trust. We can hope in election outcomes or vaccines or job promotions...but none of these are able to carry us. As believers, we have one Hope and His name is Jesus.
Today, do we have hope or do we have expectations? John 16:33 contains a promise. While we’re here on earth, we’ll encounter obstacles and struggles. And yet, Jesus has overcome every struggle we could possibly face. He says, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.”