Expectations are the Thief of Joy

Expect more from your expectations.

Here it is. The first day. You wake up excited to get started on your new adventure. You look extra nice. You take the time to do your hair. It is going to be different this time.

But when you get there, something goes wrong. He doesn’t open your door. The boss treats you like you just graduated from first grade. Your hall smells like ramen in the worst possible way. All of the sudden things aren’t as great as you expected and your excitement turns into dread.

When we set up expectations of how something is going to go, we set ourselves up for disappointment. By fantasizing about an ideal world where everything goes our way we allow our hopes to become the reality. Reality, however, can never be perfect. Just like I wrote in my last post, excellence is possible, but perfection is unachievable.

I don’t know about you, but I have a wild imagination and I love planning. That makes avoiding expectations almost impossible. I love new beginnings because of all the possibilities and new outcomes. How could I not think about how great things could be? I have to come up with some kind of replacement for expectations.

You can give up expectations when you give over your planning to God. This is one of those solutions that is simple, but not necessarily easy. We know that God has the best plan for our lives and that when we give him control he will always do what is best for us. That doesn’t mean that it won’t take a daily surrender to Him.

In Jeremiah 29 it says,”‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back from captivity.” 

We know that God has plans for our lives. That is the expectation that we should carry in our hearts. We should expect that God is in control and that by trusting in him, we are living the life he is calling us to. When there are bumps along the way we can call on God and he will show himself to us. By replacing our own expectations with the expectation that God is working in our lives we can find hope in any circumstance.

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