Great Expectations – Overcoming Disappointment

person falling

The adage claims the greater the expectations, the harder the fall. True or not, we all know it’s easy to become hardened to hope when we’re constantly disappointed in people, ourselves and/or our circumstances.

This past week, our family had an opportunity to display great expectations. But the result wasn’t what we hoped. In a couple of weeks, our middle daughter, Millie, is moving to San Antonio, Texas to work with a ministry to college girls and young women. You can check out their web site at http://www.redeemedgirl.org

Meanwhile, our family has developed a group text among our five daughters and us. When one of us needs prayer, we immediately send out a text. Everyone begins to pray right then. As you can imagine, the prayer requests for Millie have been coming fast and furiously.

In record time, God confirmed His will and provided just the right couple to rent her condo in Atlanta. A few days ago, Millie sent out an alert for us to pray about a house she’d found in San Antonio. From the pictures and description, it was perfect for her. She’d been emailing with the “owner” who was thrilled over the prospects of her renting the house. It was a beautiful home at an incredibly low price, with utilities included.

An answer to prayer, right? We all thought so and were super excited for her. Of course, it seemed too good to be true. But we do serve a God of miracles and He does promise He’s able to do over and abundantly above anything we can imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)

You guessed it. It was a scam. We all had such great expectations and believe me, we fell hard. Of course, we were deeply disappointed. And yet, we still believe He can and will do the seemingly impossible for Millie.

The question is: Does God want us to have great expectations? Isn’t that what faith is all about? The answer is: Yes! So, let’s see what we can learn about expectations from God’s Word.

In Philippians 1:12-21, we find the Apostle Paul imprisoned for his stand for the gospel.  For me, that would be reason enough to wallow in disappointment with a critical spirit. Not so with Paul. His attitude is positive and his hopes are high. Instead of complaining, he writes words of encouragement to his disciples:

“Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.” (v.12-14)

According to Paul, his God-ordained hope was made possible through:

  1. the prayers of others (v. 19)
  2. the help of the Holy Spirit (v. 19)
  3. an attitude of expectancy and faith (v. 20)
  4. a commitment to glorify Christ in life and/or death (v, 21)

What can you and I learn from this? My takeaway is:

  • Let’s commit to pray with and for one another.
  • Let’s place our expectations in God and His Word, not in people or circumstances.
  • Let’s eagerly anticipate that God is going to work in and through us, regardless of what happens to us, or doesn’t happen for us.
  • Let’s agree not to settle for a life limited by doubts.
  • Let’s pursue God’s prospects and potential for us, to His glory.
  • Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to fill, guide and instruct us in the way He wants us to go.

Perhaps a better adage for us is this: The greater our expectations, the more God is honored when we trust Him to fulfill what He placed in our hearts to start with.

great expectations

To God be the glory; great things He has done and will do!

What about you? Feel free to add to my takeaway.

woman at computer

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Comments
5 Responses to “Great Expectations – Overcoming Disappointment”
  1. Nora B. says:

    Very timely dear friend and I thank you.
    Love,
    Nora

  2. Glenn Grant says:

    Liz,

    This is Darrell Grant. Can you send me a private email so I can call you and just talk on the phone to see how you guys are doing etc? Thanks.

  3. Millie says:

    Great word, Mom!! I still believe the Lord has my home picked out!! Grateful for wonderful prayer support!!!

  4. harriett salley says:

    sorry about the scam! I will bet God has something even better for her. Know you all were hopeing it would be just the right think for her! Can’t wait to hear just the right things havecome about for her. i know she trusts God and we should as well. great is HIS faithfulness! Love to all. Harriett

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