Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
Expect Great Things – The Problem With Expectations – Part 1
When you have expectations, you have problems.
How many times have we been preached, pepped talked, and pointed at about raising our expectations? We must expect great things to happen, we must expect great things from ourselves, and we must expect great things from God.
But here’s the rub: when we expect certain things, and they don’t happen the way we expected them too, we get hurt. When you start expecting certain things and certain people to turn out and behave in certain ways, we set ourselves up for failure, disappointment, and, like I’ve said, pain.
But having “great expectations” is a good, even holy thing, right?
Right. It is. I never said expectations were wrong, I said that they have problems. Ones we don’t to like admit while we’re expecting something really good and pinning all our hopes on it.
Question: What do you expect from expectation? It’s the way we use them, hang our hats on them, rely on them, that’s problematic.
We use expectations like we would faith, but we keep them solid and rigid instead of flowing and fluid.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1).
And you’ve probably been told, (heck, I’ve preached it!) that hope is the expectation of something good. I’m not suggesting that we do away with hope and expectation. But I believe we need to evaluate our use of them. Faith and hope are things we cannot see, prove, or bank on. Right? The fact that we cannot “prove” that God exists – I can’t conjure the Divine up in physical form for you while you read – is part of the foundation of our faith. God is beyond hope and expectation in the sense that we cannot possibly imagine exactly what to expect from him.
Our relationships are the same. You cannot control others and their reactions and responses to what you do, or to what happens in the world around them. You can hope and expect and imagine and project how they will respond, but you can never 100% predict for sure and certain how things will turn out.
Yet, that is how we use faith and hope and expectation. Instead of letting them live in a space beyond definition, we make them tangible, stackable and absolute.
Like the time I expected to get a “little miss make up doll” for Christmas and got a ‘Carmen tape’ (remember him and those?) instead.
What do you expect from others? What’s expected of you? What do you expect from life and God?
You expect to do great on a test. But you don’t.
You expect love to be grand. But it’s more complicated than that.
You expect to get well quickly. But the sickness lingers.
You expect to get the job, the guy, the girl, the money, the success, the healing, the kids, the house, the car, the freedom…
What happens when things don’t turn out as you expected?
(I’m all fun and laughter today, right? Keep going… You can expect it to get better…)
Written by Liz Milani