Does God want you to have expectations? Sure He does! In fact, Psalm 5:3 states, “In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”
We are often taught to not have expectations or maybe experience tells us that “too many expectations lead to disappointments.”
The kind of expectation that leads to disappointment is the anticipation of the way things “should” be or “how” they should happen. We have a picture of the process in our mind and expect that things will occur accordingly, and when they don’t go the way we want it to go, we get terribly disappointed. It would be better to think of “your way” as a general blueprint for your plan but allow for flexibility so that God will still work it out — His way. If it does happen the way you wanted it to, great! But if not, the key is to not insist on making it happen your way. That’s what it means to “surrender your will.” It’s a power struggle between you and God. God always wins so the sooner you surrender, the happier you will be.
The other type of expectation is mentioned in Psalm 5:3. Ironically, it is easier to have expectations of the way things should be than to believe that the “impossible” can actually be possible. Do you believe that God actually wants you to have expectations so He can fulfill them? The difference lies in “how” and “will” (as in the future tense of the verb, “to be.”). Put your expectations before God and believe they “will” happen, but leave the “how” part to God.
One last thing I want to point out. The operative word here is “wait.” The psalmist wrote, “…I wait in expectation.” There is no indication that God answered this person’s prayer the same day. Honestly I have had to wait so long for certain things that I wondered if my desires were out of line with God’s plan for my life. What if God didn’t want those things for me? I think the more appropriate question is, why would God allow this to be written in the scriptures if He didn’t want to answer our prayers?
“Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God.” Psalm 38:15
The psalmist was 100% confident that God would answer. Do you pray and wait with this kind of confident expectation?
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