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Do you struggle with expectations?

Biblical encouragement for those who struggle with expectations.

Do you struggle with expectations?

By nature, I am a very hopeful person, almost to a fault...

Why?  Because my hopes are really expectations...  Expectations placed on situations and people... Situations, out of my control, and people, well you know what the Bible says about people, they will always disappoint...

People will disappoint you. But God can never fail. 
It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
 Psalms 118:8

Hope vs. Expectation

The definition of hope is:

a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.

The definition of expectation is:

a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.

As you can see, both of these words are very much intertwined.  In fact one of the synonyms for hope is expectation.

To me, the word hope conjures up good feelings, yet the word expectation, seems to have a negative connotation.

The following quote sums up the negativity of expectation...

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” 
― Alexander Pope

The poet is implying that in order to protect ourselves from disappointment, we should never set expectations.

How many times have we ourselves heard, "You are expecting too much."  OR  "Your expectations are too high."

This seems to be such a hopeless and negative state to live in.

And believe me there are times, especially after repeated disappointments, I want to adopt Alexander Pope's view of never hoping or expecting for anything from anyone again...

Yet, inevitably the next interaction or situation comes along and I become hopeful again.   It just seems to be a part of me; Hope always rises up...

As such, my life word  is HOPE...  Friends and family know this about me - thoughtfully giving me gifts over the years of jewelry, figurines and wall art which all have the word HOPE on them.

Biblical encouragement for those who struggle with expectations.

There is something about staying hopeful that sustains us and cheers us.  Even when that hope is in sinful man or fallen creation, we still have an underlying excitement that what we hoped for or expected will happen.

How much more should our hope in an unfailing God sustain us, cheer us and excite us!

We rejoice in hope. 
Romans 12:12 

The hope of the righteous brings joy.  
Proverbs 10:28  

For you, O Lord, are my hope.  
Psalm 71:5

And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.
Psalm 39:7

Hope rises up again and again because the Spirit within us testifies to the Father's love, and His great promises.

Hoping... Waiting...  Expecting ...

We hope in prayer, waiting for answers...

Perception vs. Expectation

But our expectations can get in the way of how we perceive God's answers.

Long ago, when the Prophets spoke about the coming Savior, the people waited with a certain expectation of how He would come and what He would look like.   When that great day finally came, many refused to believe that a carpenter's son from the city of Bethlehem could be the Messiah.

He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, 
nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him. 
 Isaiah 53:2

Yet the shepherds they listened and perceived receiving with great joy and blessing the Good News.

Biblical encouragement for those who struggle with expectations.

"And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”[c]

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them."
Luke 2:8-20

 Once we have received and accepted the Good News of the Gospel, every prayer we utter, is "yes in Jesus".  Not that we will necessarily receive the answer WE expected or hoped for, but we can know and have assurance that EVERY prayer is answered through a loving God who gives good gifts to His children according to His perfect will.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask {hope for} or imagine {expect},
 according to his power that is at work within us
Ephesians 3:20

God's Promises vs. Expectations

What can we expect with full assurance from Christ every hour of every day...

The Lord will accomplish what concerns {us}.  
Psalm 138:8

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11

What promised hope are we waiting for...

 That great and glorious day when we meet Jesus face to face, either at the time that He calls us home or at the Lord's return.  

Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
Titus 2:13

What has God's Word told us to expect at the Lord's return...

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of
 nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting 
with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens
 will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Luke 21:25-28

For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, 
so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Matthew 24:27

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.
1 Corinthians 15:52

Advent is a season set aside to remember the birth of our Savior, a time to step into the expectation,  excitement and wonder of the Shepherds who followed that star and ultimately found the Lord Jesus. Let us Praise God in the same way the Host of Heavenly Angels did singing Glory to God in the Highest,  and let us rejoice in hope waiting for that Glorious day when Christ returns for His bride the Church and we will be in the Light of His Love for all eternity.

What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived" -- the things God has prepared for those who love him--
1 Corinthians 2:9

For more posts related to hope and expectation please check out the following by clicking on the titles:

Remember, there is no need to struggle with expectations, when you put ALL of your hope in Christ Jesus.

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Grace & TruthWoman to Woman Ministries, Inspire Me MondayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Good Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog Hop  Tuesday Talk   Faith 'N Friends Sitting Among Friends   House to Home  ,Wonderful Wednesday , Literacy Musings Mondays,Imparting GraceDance with Jesus Booknificent Thursdays  Fresh Market Friday Moments of Hope Wonderful Wednesdays , Tea & Word Tuesday Heart Encouragement Thursday Hearts for Home Messy Marriage Link-up Friday at the Fire Station Link-up Tune In Thursday Faith on Fire Link-upSunday Scripture Blessings Link-up, Sunday ThoughtsWriter Wednesday, Faith Filled Friday God Sized Dreams Link-Up Sitting Among Friends Be Thee Inspired Graceful Tuesday Link-up Aprons & Pearls Link-up Trekkingthru Link-up  Encouraging Word Wednesday  Grace Moments Link-up  Encouraging Hearts and Home Worth Beyond Rubies Seeking Sabbath Scripture and a Snapshot IHeart Verse Welcome Heart Kingdom Bloggers Outdoorsy Mommy Anchored Truth Tuesdays IHeart Verse  Recharge Wednesdays InstaEncouragements


  1. Wonderful post, Karen! Such truth and great encouragement! Thank you so much for sharing! GOD bless you, beautiful friend! :-)

    1. Thank you Tai! Praising God as He guides me through blogging. :-)

      God bless you too sweet friend! You are such an encouragement!

  2. Karen, I love this post on hope and expectations...My OneWord365 is trusting. In many Scripture verses, the word “trust” is synonymous with “hope”… and hope is always future. Thought you might like this...

    But the people who trust [hope in; wait on] the Lord will become strong again. They will rise up as an eagle in the sky [with wings like eagles]; they will run and not need rest [grow weary]; they will walk and not become tired [faint]—Isaiah 40:31 Expanded Bible

    A word study of the Hebrew word for "trust [hope in; wait on]" is “qavah” meaning to bind together by twisting, to wait for, to hope for, to look eagerly for; to lie in wait for; linger for, to expect. The basic idea is to wait for or look for with eager expectation.

    Hope, with its Biblical dimension of certainty, is one facet of qavah, which also includes ‘waiting’ (patience) and ‘resting’ (trusting). The participial form points to those in whom this relationship of expectation, patience and trust with the Lord is unchanging. Another facet of qavah pictures a continual, unchanging relationship of patiently remaining or abiding under. This includes the ideas of trust and the confidence which characterize hope.

    But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!—Habakkuk 2:3 TLB

    1. Beth, I appreciate you so much! Thank you for sharing these wonderful insights from the word studies you have shared. Such a wonderful addendum to my post!!

      Many blessings to you!

  3. This is beautiful. I have learned as I get older to lower my expectations, especially with others. Thanks for this spiritual reminder. I'm taking a week off too, so now you made me feel better for doing so. Merry Christmas.

    1. Michelle, Thank you for your kind words.

      Yes, a time of refreshing is in order for us all. :-)

      Merry Christmas!

  4. Beautiful post! I too am a pretty hopeful individual. My best friend got me a wall hanging for my birthday that reads "Hope anchors the soul." Blessed to be your neighbor at Testimony Tuesday today!

    1. Tara, Thank you for your kind words.

      Thanks for sharing about yourself.

      It was a blessing to have you visit. Merry Christmas!

  5. Thank you for this encouraging post, Karen, on hope and expectation. I need to remember - "EVERY prayer is answered through a loving God who gives good gifts to His children according to His perfect will." May we be in wonder and excitement at what God has done for us through the birth of Jesus! I hope you have a joy-filled Christmas!

    1. Trudy, You are very welcome!

      Amen! Thanks for sharing.

      Same to you Trudy! Merry Christmas!

  6. Dear Friend! I read this with tears in my touched me so much, I read it aloud to my husband and son. Oh, our dear son has been so discouraged over something he has been so earnestly praying for, and the statement you made above, "our expectations can get in the way of how we perceive God's answers" has helped all of us so much! My son even typed it out, so he can be sure to remember it. You will just never know how much your blog means to us. :) I am so thankful you will be able to take a break over Christmas to spend time with your dear family, and I look forward to connecting with you again in the new year, Lord willing! God bless you, and merry Christmas!!

    1. Cheryl, Your words touched me so much. I am so happy that the Lord has used me in such a way in your lives and that of your son. All Glory to God, to Him and Him alone. I am in awe of His working.

      Again, I can't thank you enough for your great encouragement. You are such an incredible blessing.

      May you and your family enjoy lots of love, laughter, friends, family and the sense of His presence as you celebrate the birth of our precious Savior.

      Merry Christmas!!

  7. What a great article. Hope. One of my favorite verses is Hebrews 11:1. Hope for the unseen Christ and having the confidence in Him. Thank you for spreading Hope this Christmas Season. Thank you for sharing at Sitting Among Friends.

    1. Jaime, Thank you.

      And thank you for sharing that verse! :-)

      Enjoying the fellowship at Sitting Among Friends.

  8. Karen,
    Hope is an amazing word. Hope helps us live each day. The Scripture I have chosen to study this week is from Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
    I would love you to link at Word of God Speak.

    1. Janis, I hadn't thought of it that way, but you are absolutely right! Hope is what helps us live each day.

      Thank you for sharing that verse here.

      Thanks for the invite. I have linked up. :-)

      Blessings to you too!

  9. HOPE is a word so powerfully pregnant with possibility, isn't it? I love you you mentioned it was a life word, too. I was thinking about what you said hope rising up and not being able to be stuffed down to a place where you could allow the disappointments of life to steal what God has put in you, beacause HE is the author if it.

    Have a fantastic Christmas and a break as you celebrate with your family!

    1. Dawn, Indeed it is!

      Thank you!

      Merry Christmas to you and your family! Enjoy!


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