We all have them. Whether we know we are setting them or not, somehow the ideals of our future are outlined and charted into a shiny, perfect plan we hope to reach. It is a good thing to expect the best for the outcome of our lives. But, how do we, as Christ followers, set healthy expectations in a fallen world where things can take a turn for the worst? Do unmet expectations lead to the conclusion that God is a mean Dad who says “no” to perfectly reasonable requests? Over the years, I have learned that my own expectations can lead to resentment and contempt in my heart towards not only God, but others whom I love. Being a newlywed, this is especially true, amen?! Today, I want to share with you about healthy expectations, and “GODLY expectations.” Is that even a thing? I don’t know, but I do know what it looks like when you lay down your own hopes and dreams and give them to God, in spite of you own desires. It’s a weird mishmash of faith, sacrifice, and love.
What does faith have to do with my own expectations? Well, Hebrew 11:1 tells us that faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Now, if you ask me, my expectations are things I am hoping for. Not just that, but I find myself LONGING for my own plans to work out, even to a point of dethroning God off of His seat, and conducting a coronation for my expectations to reign. THIS is where it gets sticky. Especially when it comes to Godly expectations, like marriage, children and health. What happens when marriage or children are not in the cards for godly, Christian women? Or, when the reports come back and your body is failing you. This is where faith comes in. Before our wants and desires, our hope should first and foremost be in Jesus. The hope of Jesus and His will for us should be before marriage, children and any earthly desire. Whether we see our yearnings come to pass or not, God and his glory must be placed on top. And that, sister, is what sacrifice is made of. Putting God first.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matt 6:33
When we set our expectations at the feet of Jesus and accept God’s will, we are not only sacrificing fleshly desires, but we are living righteously and becoming more holy. This is the ultimate display of love towards our Father. Matthew 6:33 tells us that when we seek the Kingdom of God above all else (i.e. above hopes and dreams) that He will, in return, give us everything we need. Not everything we want, but everything we NEED. This. Is. Sobering. Sometimes I confuse my wants or expectations for needs. Do I need the big house on the corner lot in a desirable zip code with my two children (obviously a boy and a girl) and the 4th bedroom converted into a massive closet... or do I want it? Pretty sure that’s a want. God knows what we need, and we have to trust Him about that. That takes faith. Faith is hard when you don’t see real life evidence of a desired outcome. In my faith-journey, my hope is that I seek the Kingdom in all outcomes of life. We are never going to see every “want” in our life come to pass; that was never promised. But God does promise He will meet our every need if we seek Him. So, get out there and find Him in your mundane or your mess. Stop trying to meet expectations and meet Jesus… it’s better, I promise.