Expectations, we all have them; we all put them upon others. Expectations can be too high, they can be non-existent and when they are placed upon people, they will always bring us disappointment. I am learning this lesson about expectations; what they are, whom I am to have them upon and how to let them go when they are not from God. It is not an easy lesson to learn, because most of my life I have placed unrealistic expectations not only on myself but on others as well. These expectations have caused me many hours of tears, hurt my heart and brought me great disappointment. But that is what expectations do when we put our hope in man and not in God.
There are many verses in the bible that refer to hope and expectations, and they all say the same thing. Our hope and our expectations are to be in the Lord God, and not in man. Proverbs 11:23 is where I started my journey today on expectations. “The desire of the righteous is only good, but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.” We have all been born with hope and a desire to have goodness in our lives. But over the years, people disappoint you. We get our hopes up about something only to be disappointed when it does not come to pass. We are constantly on a rollercoaster going up and down when we place our hope in the earthly and not on the Heavenly.
Expectation is the hope of things to come; it is the act or state of looking forward or anticipating some specific outcome. For us as Christians, our hope and expectation is for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, whom we eagerly await with great anticipation. But when I start to place my hope in my husband, I get disappointed. My hope and my expectations are not always good, and they are not always from the Lord. This is a lesson I am learning, and a growing pain the Lord is taking me through today. My expectations are just that- mine, not His, not from Him, not because of Him- they are all mine, put there by my own mind and my own heart.
Psalm 62:5 “My soul, wait though only upon God, for my expectation is from Him.” My husband has disappointed me many times, and I have disappointed him many times as well. I have been disappointed by friends, family, brothers and sisters in the Lord, and by my parents. But the reason why I have been disappointed is because my expectation was in them, not in the Lord. We have a tendency to pray for the Lord to change a situation, to make someone in our lives meet our expectations. But those are our expectations, not the Lord’s. What does the Lord God expect from each one of us? “..to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,” Deuteronomy 10:12.
I have been disappointed to many times, and have recently cried out to the Lord God and asked Him for his help with these disappointments. He has shown me that when I place my hopes in anyone or anything other than Him, I am setting myself up for the hurt that comes with these misplaced expectations. I have been given great and precious promises in Christ Jesus; these promises are what I need to be placing my hopes in, because He promises to fulfill every one of them. People are people, they are going to do things that hurt us, they are going to say things that take us back, and they are going to disappoint us. But God, He promises never to leave us, forsake us, give up on us, stop loving us, or disappoint us. He promises to be who He says He is every moment of our lives.
My hope is in the Lord my God, who has given me more than I could have ever hoped or dreamed of. He has blessed me abundantly and keeps blessing me with mercy and grace every day. Paul, in Philippians, writes, “According to the earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed...” (Phil. 1:23) Paul knew that his hope and his expectations for this life are in the Lord Jesus Christ alone. His expectations did not lead him to disappointment because He trusted and hoped in the One True God, the One who promised Him eternal life, the One who gave His life for him.
We also, must press through every disappointment and every misplaced expectation that we have placed on people, and look to the one who can fulfill our hopes and dreams. He alone should be the only one before our eyes, He is our focus, and our hope is in Him alone. Lamentations 3:24 states, “The Lord is my portion, says my soul, Therefore I hope in Him.” He is our substance and our everything, if our hearts are hoping for change in our earthly relationships and expecting it to happen, then we are going to be disappointed. Our only hope, our expectations should be in the Lord and what He desires to do in our lives. Our relationships here on earth will have disappointments, but the relationship we have with Jesus Christ will always bring us more hope and great joy.
I have for many years placed expectations on others and have been disappointed when they have failed. But it is not their fault they failed, the failure was mine. My expectations were misplaced, because my hope, my expectation is in the Lord, and not in man. Many of us women have been hurt or disappointed by others in our lives. If in any way I can encourage you to join me as I begin to place my hope and my expectation in the Lord, then maybe, just maybe we can free ourselves from this rollercoaster of disappointment that we are all in. If you are waiting for something to happen and your hope is in a person, pray and ask the Lord God to focus your eyes upon Him.
May our hearts be turned toward Him, and our eyes fixed upon Him, the author and finisher of our faith. My hope is in You, oh Lord God, I shall not be ashamed. In Jesus Name, Amen.