What are the expectations we place on God? When things go wrong, do we grow distant from him? Do we question why he’s allowing us to go through so much pain and suffering? Do we get angry with him and rile at him? Do we ask ourselves why we even bothered praying about it when it looks like God doesn’t care?
Some advise us to keep our expectations low in life so we can protect ourselves against getting hurt. Does that apply to God? Perhaps we should be evaluating our expectations against the word of God. We need to look at our source of information on God – the Bible and our own connection with him – and then compare that to the expectations we have of God. Are we expecting his good to be based on our definition or his? When God says he has good plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11), do we take that verse at face value or do we think about in context of the God we know whose wisdom goes far beyond our perspective (Romans 12:2)?
When things are falling down around us and we want to rant and rave at God because he isn’t answering us the way we want him to, we need to take a step back and consider what we know of God.
- God is a LOVING God. There’s no one else who loves you more. But remember that he also loves ALL of us, even those we see as enemies.
- God is JUST. But his justice doesn’t necessarily look the same as it does in our minds.
- God is WISE. He sees a much bigger picture than we do and he knows what’s coming down the line.
- God is JOY and PEACE.
- God is PATIENT. His patience ties into his wisdom as well and that’s what we need to remember when we’re feeling impatient with him because his answer may take much longer than we think it should.
- God is FAITHFUL. If Jesus can die on the cross for sinners, don’t you think he will do everything in his power to honor his relationship with you?
- God is STRONG and ALL-POWERFUL. There is literally nothing that he can’t handle.
In addition to what we know of God’s character, we should also take into account that his plans involve us. He asks us to have the heart of a servant.
This isn’t a one-way relationship. God has a special role for each of us and in our service, people witness the love of of God. Sometimes what happens in our lives is not about us, it’s about the people around us who witness our relationships with God.
So, take a fresh look at your situation and try to see how God’s answer may tie into a greater purpose. That doesn’t mean he’s not looking out for you but it does mean he has a much broader perspective. I believe we shouldn’t lower our expectations of God, but adjust them to align with God’s character and his promises.
Read more in this blog post titled Expectations.