The Truth About God's Expectations for You

Sometimes when you’ve had a long series of disappointing things happen, you can get into the very bad habit of just expecting more of what you’ve already had. You’ve been through a lot of trouble and you’re simply waiting for more to come. I used to be like that, but I’ve discovered it’s not how God wants us to live.

I was abused by my father throughout my whole childhood and I married the first guy who came along when I was still a teenager, and it seems he was a bigger mess than I was. After being abused and abandoned by him, our marriage ended. By the time I met Dave, I was negative and hopeless about everything, just trying to make it through each day.

Because I had been hurt so much in my life, I was really negative and expected the worst all of the time. Even after I had a strong relationship with God, I still struggled with this for awhile. Then one morning, I was standing in the bathroom and I remember noticing this pressure, this evil presence around me. It wasn’t new; I realized that I’d always felt it. It made me think, “What bad thing is going to happen next?”

I asked God what this feeling was. He spoke to my heart that it is “evil forebodings.” Later I found Proverbs 15:15, which says, “All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances]” (AMP).

Once I read this verse, I realized what it meant. It was the fear of something bad happening when nothing was going wrong. Then I looked back and saw how it affected me at different times in the past. For example, the night Dave asked me to marry him, he said he needed to talk to me about something. I actually thought he was going to break up with me because I just always expected the negative. That’s exactly what Satan wants you to do. He wants you to expect something bad and to become fearful of the “what ifs.”

Fear is the opposite of faith and it takes faith to accept anything good in our lives. When I was expecting something bad to happen, my expectation was from the devil. If we are not careful, this expectation will open the door to Satan’s evil plans for our lives by waiting for bad things. But when we expect good things, we open the door to God’s plans.

Look at Lamentations 3:25: “The Lord is good to those who wait hopefully and expectantly for Him, to those who seek Him [inquire of and for Him and require Him by right of necessity and on the authority of God's word]” (AMP).

God is good. Everything He does is good and wonderful. Everything God gives and offers is greater than what the devil offers, so shouldn’t our expectations come from God? God wants to do something outrageously wonderful in your life every moment of every day. But you have to be ready and expect it to happen.

Isaiah 30:18 says it perfectly and is one of my favorite verses on this topic. “Therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you…. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him…” (AMP).

What this is saying is that God is waiting, looking and longing for someone who’s waiting for Him to be good to them. God wants to be good to you, but you have to be expecting Him to move in your life.

Waiting on God may seem passive, but actually it is one of the most spiritually active times in your life. In the Bible, the Greek word for wait means “to long for, to look for with an outstretched heart, expecting the goodness of God to show up.”

God wants you to believe something good is going to happen to you. He is working in your life right now, and when you get your breakthrough, it will be the result of what God has been doing for a long time. Whether you see it or feel it or not, keep praying and expecting because God is longing to be gracious and good to you.