Great expectations - Hope 103.2

Great expectations

By David ReayThursday 7 Jul 2016LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Psalm 37:7-9

7          Be still in the presence of the Lord,
                 and wait patiently for him to act.
            Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
                 or fret about their wicked schemes.

8          Stop being angry!

                 Turn from your rage!
            Do not lose your temper—
                 it only leads to harm.
9          For the wicked will be destroyed,
                 but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land. (NLT)

We so often have to wait on God. But perhaps too often it is waiting for him to do what we expect him to do. We have put our requests in to him and we are realistic enough to know we might not get them right away. So we wait.

We do certainly sometimes get what we ask for and what we expect after a period of waiting. But to understand ‘waiting’ and ‘expectation’ simply in such terms is to be sadly mistaken. We have to learn to wait expectantly without expectations. That is, we wait for God to do what he purposes to do rather than assume he will grant our wishes. We wait for what will unfold from the hand of God, not wait merely for what we assume will happen. We wait for God’s way forward rather than imposing our own way forward on him.

None of this suggests we don’t ask God for specific things or that we don’t prefer certain things to happen. We are encouraged to bring our requests to him, and if they are in accord with his purposes we can expect them to be granted in his own good time. However, we can’t conclude we know God’s specific plans. They sometimes puzzle us. The wicked seem to triumph, the evil one seems to have his way.

Our text reminds us not to let this frustrate us. Rather we wait with alertness to what God might be doing. Confining our thinking to our own specific expectations might see us miss out on what he is really doing. We might have great expectations, but God can provide even greater responses.

David Reay