<<hope, anticipation>>

Expectations are strong inner beliefs that something will happen or be the case, based on prior evidence or experience. However, our forecast and predictions are not always correct because our assumptions can be flawed logic and also influenced by biased hope and desire. Consequently, with very little conscious effort we can 'get our hopes up' based on a false premise or a misreading of the evidence. When expectations fail to materialise and so are not met a degree of emotional hurt ensues, with blame being attributed to others who may have (or may not have) contributed to this, often resulting in conflict. If we have formed unreasonable expectations for ourselves or others (that can't be lived up to), they must be changed.

As you live for God anticipate great things to happen to you His child, then when you receive, your testimony will be “The Lord has lead me on the journey…He has blessed [me] with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Gen 24:27; Eph 1:3). Have a positive optimistic view of life, knowing you are the focus of His attention (Ps 17:8). Expect God to move on your behalf as you live faithfully for Him – He will honour and respect those that honour and respect Him (1 Sam 2:30). What does God expect or require from us?  The same as He desired from the Israelites – an intimate love relationship with Him through faithful obedience to Him and His Word, then to love our neighbour as ourselves (Deut 10:12,13; Mic 6:8; Mk 12:30,31; Jn 14:15). By making the right choice we can position ourselves for blessing, both in this life and the next where “Eye has not seen nor can our heart comprehend what God has prepared for those who love Him” (Josh 24:15; 1 Cor 2:9). The principle stressed in the OT holds true today: obedience equals blessing, while disobedience results in being cursed (Deut 11:26-28, 28:1,2,15).

While earthly fathers desire to give good gifts to their children, God our heavenly Father excels in giving good gifts to those who ask Him. In fact He will go beyond our limitations doing more than we can ask or think (Mt 7:9-11; Eph 3:20). However, just like on the human level a wise father doesn’t

Jesus gave His all for us; He expects our love and devotion in return

give his child what will be potentially detrimental to his offspring so it is with our Heavenly Father who always has our highest good in mind. “In all things God works for the good of those who love Him” (Rom 8:28). He sees the future and “Works out everything according to His will” (Eph 1:11). Although it is wise to plan, we must be submissive to Him, not blantantly doing in our carnality what is outside His commands and principles. Abraham fathered Ishmael outside the divine plan and the repercussions are still experienced today. Presumption and forcing our desires will not be an issue if we walk humbly with Him in obedient submission.

‘If I prepare myself, the opportunity will come’ is a confident belief and proactive stance, as faith requires action and effort by us for what is expected to become reality. Expectations influence our motivation. What steps am I taking to see my dreams eventuate? God will use you if you are ready and available, but not necessarily according to your preconceived ideas, planned ways or timing (Isa 55:8,9).

Many times our expectations or what we imagine in our dreaming doesn’t measure up to reality, with our desires not ministered to. Yet in contrast what God has prepared for those that love Him will far exceed our present comprehension (1 Cor 2:9). Don’t become bitter or disillusioned by the events of life – it is God’s prerogative to do things His way and in His time, after all He is the Master. Pray and commit your way to Him, expecting His assistance in your life (Prov 3:5,6).  In the Christian life, you will experience opposition and persecution.  Satan will use his resources to try and hinder God’s plans and purposes for your life – expecting and being prepared will not catch you by surprise (2 Tim 3:12; 1 Jn 3:13).  Don’t try and resist Satan in your own strength but rely upon God as well as taking measures to strengthen your weak defenses by walking close to God.

God's promises are completely trustworthy and He will do exactly what He says He will do (Josh 21:45; Ps 19:7, 77:8; 2 Cor 1:20; 2 Pet 1:4). Our expectation that He will fulfill His Word is called faith, and when our expectations are based on His Word they will never fail to be met.

Jesus told us to expect His return – although the precise timing of the rapture is unknown: "Be ready for the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him" (Lk 12:40).

See also: anticipation, disappointment, dreams shattered, faith, hope, hurts, not being ministered to, positive mental attitude, preparation, presumption, providence, self-fulfilling prophesy, sovereignty of God.