A few weeks ago, I walked into church on Sunday with a certain set of expectations. When I left I was confused, disappointed and even a little frustrated. I wondered what I could have done differently as a leader. I worried that I was no longer pointing people to Jesus the way I want to in worship.
The very next week, I left feeling renewed, uplifted and full of peace. I was filled with hope and a renewed confidence in God to work through me, despite my weaknesses. As I reflected on this I realized that the major difference between the two weeks were my expectations.
We don’t often admit it, but we tend to expect that if we believe and live correctly, we’ll have great friendships, healthy marriages, positive bank balances, well-balanced children and freedom from major problems.
We have similar unrealistic and misguided expectations when it comes to God.
When we find ourselves disappointed with life, it’s usually not because something in life has failed us. Rather, our expectations of what we think life ought to be have failed us. In the same way, when we find ourselves disappointed with God, God has not failed us—but our expectations of God have failed us.
Expectations can kill relationships— especially with God.
Regular disappointment can lead to anger, bitterness, despair and cynicism. Nothing good comes from any of these.
I am not abandoning all expectations, but I am learning to shift them in ways that will lead to joy, peace and contentment.