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  • Writer's pictureTonie Roberts


I have a friend who always says, "have no expectations and you won't get hurt".

We do need to have expectations. They just need to be healthy and realistic. After all, how can I say that on my birthday I don't expect happy birthday wishes? How can I deny that when I'm going through something difficult and my friends know it, that I expect them to offer support. When my son was little, I expected him to follow the rules in our home. Of course I expect my friends to be as kind and loving as I am to them. Certainly, I expect my coworkers to be considerate and respectful. What woman can say they don't expect to be given a seat on the bus when they walk in with several packages in hand, and who doesn't expect that people will step aside on a narrow sidewalk to let you pass? 

The problem is that no one is a mind reader and they also interpret things differently. For instance, I may desire a phone call to inquire how I'm feeling after a week of the flu, but my friends might think that because I'm not feeling well I want to be left alone. I might assume the person walking towards me on the street will move over to let me pass, but he may be thinking the same of me, and therefore, not move.

When you love someone you naturally place expectations on them. Those you love are especially the ones you expect will never disappoint you, yet they are often the ones who fail you.

In my lifetime, many people I have loved have let me down: my husband betrayed me; some friends were dishonest and spread lies about me; other friends mistreated me; my father abandoned me. But those are humans, and "God is not human, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and then not fulfill?" [Numbers 23:19]. In God, I can place my full trust, "for the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does" [Psalm 33:4].

Isn't it wonderful that we don't have to play games with God! His expectations of us are made clear through His word. Galatians 5:22 instructs us to bring forth the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Our expectations of God are also clear to Him. God is the all-knowing, omniscient God who knows our every anxious thought [Psalm 139:23] and is aware of our expectations before they even enter our mind.

Psalm 5:3 says, "in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait expectantly" - and believe me, He delivers! Whenever I have expected God to come through, He has. It may not always be in the way I imagine or plan it, because I, as a human, plan my course, but it is God who establishes my steps [Proverbs 16:9], but I know that I can always remain confident that I will see the goodness of the Lord [Psalm 27:13]. Placing hope and expectation in the Lord never disappoints - it is "an anchor for my soul,  firm and secure" [Hebrews 6:19]. 

In a world filled with so much disappointment, the answer is simple: "let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful" [Hebrews 10:23]. Know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gives you will ever fail[Joshua 23:14]. "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are 'Yes' in Christ" [2 Corinthians 1:20]. In Christ you can feel free to have great expectations. 

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