By Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC
From the moment we begin our day, we have all sorts of
expectations. We might expect our coffee to wake us up, traffic to be slow, our day to be busy, and our work to get done as planned. We have expectations of people and how they will treat us. We also have expectations for our future and what it will hold.
Expectations are often based upon our past experiences, emotions, and desires. They can get us motivated because we look forward to something good. They can cause us to feel dread and fear when we don't know what is going to happen or we don't like what might.
Expectations can be unrealistic. They can be too high or too low. They can be unfair to us or to others. Our expectations can lead us to develop fixed patterns of thinking about some things or people. This can weaken our faith, block our goals and diminish our resolve. On the other hand, this can be a good thing. It can help us to be hopeful, accepting, secure and optimistic.
We all have predictable expectations. This applies to every area of our lives. Look at dieting, for instance, or trying to change a habit, begin an exercise program, learn a new skill, or restore a relationship. People often start off with some hope that this time it will work out. However, if they repeatedly have bad experiences or perceived failures, they might conclude that nothing works and they start expecting to fail each time they try again.
Our expectations are closely linked to our level of hope. If we are hopeful, we will expect good things to happen. We will confidently anticipate something good. However, when we expect the worst or to be disappointed, we begin to lose our hope. Hope is like the air we breathe. We can't live without it. Hope helps us see the light at the end of the tunnel. Even a glimmer of hope can sustain us and keep us believing.
If there is an area of your life in which you have lost hope and ceased expecting something good to happen, know that nothing is ever hopeless because God is a God of hope. He will make a way when there is no way. It might not be in the way you expect, but it will be for your best. It will be better than you can ask, think, or imagine. You can begin expecting victory in every area of your life today because God has plans for you that are good. He knows the desires of your heart. He wants to be the anchor of your soul and fill you with joyful expectation of all that He has for you. You can expect the best from Him. You can expect good things to happen. You can expect God to help you and guide you. You can expect God to bless you and fill you with His love, peace and joy. Your expectations won't be disappointed when your faith is in the God of hope.