We live in an instant gratification society. We expect things to happen in a micro split second, and we cannot even wait in line for 30 seconds without taking out our phones to post our next Facebook status update. We want things to work out quickly without much waiting, without contemplating and without any effort. We don’t slow down anymore, or even understand what it means to slow down. If this is us today, how can we expect to learn to wait on God or learn to have faith in the things we cannot have or see right away?
In James chapter 5 verses 7-8, it says “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near”.
How can we learn to wait and have faith in the unseen things of the eternal kingdom if we expect for things to happen in our own time and within our control?
Our own expectations of what we want, and what we want to believe in a big hindrance in us having faith. The very definition of faith according to Scripture is, “...faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see..” (Hebrew chapter 11, verse 1). Which in its essence, we have faith because we cannot control or see what is going to happen and therefore are taught to put our trust in God.
Compare this with expectation. “I expect God to answer me right away”. “I expect God to tell me what I am supposed to do right now”. “I expect to know all the answers”. “I expect to be better at this”. “I expect my spouse to make me feel better”. “I expect the world to be a better place to live in”.
How can we then consolidate these two concepts that seem to be contradictory to each other?
Does it mean we should not expect anything at all, because God is always in control and will deliver us from all things? No. Expectation and faith go together. The commonality between the two is action.
Action is the thing that brings expectation and faith together.
When we act on faith, we are not simply passively throwing our hands in the air and saying “God will fix this”. We put our faith into action, we act through prayers, by making a conscious effort to communicate with loved ones, pastors, church leaders. We speak truth and hear truth be spoken to us. We expect that by doing so, we can trust in a God that delivers on His promises.
We can expect that when we seek God, He is there. We can expect that God is supreme, is omnipresent and we expect that our true believe in Jesus Christ, our Saviour, will lead us out of our difficult trials and tribulations. We expect to be servants of Christ, to lead by our faith. We expect to walk with Jesus, and be consecrated in Him.
This in turn brings us faith, brings us the notion of trust and believing in a being, that is bigger than us. When we bring God’s expectations of us, and our expectations of who God is into the picture, faith comes naturally.
What are we expecting from God? Can we truly ask ourselves that? Or are we just hungry for instant gratification, that we have forgotten what it truly means to wait on God? Our own upbringing, culture and society has made us conform to certain expectations. How can we stand tall in God’s expectations of us?
God has expectations of redemption (Romans chapter 8, verse 19), expectations of judgement to come (Hebrews chapter 10, verse 27), delayed expectations (Proverbs chapter 13, verse 12) and unrealised expectations (Proverbs chapter 11, verse 7). Jesus told us not to expect His return, “Be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” - Luke chapter 12, verse 40.
Let our only expectation be one of God. “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him” (Psalm chapter 62, verse 5).
Clarissa Yates is a young writer and a mum of two from Perth, Western Australia and a business woman with her 'Hooked in a Box' - www.hookedinabox.com. Hooked in a Box is a curated gift box studio company that hand-picks and creates customised and personalised gift boxes for Mum and babies.
Clarissa Yates previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/clarissa-yates.html