Zero expectations, zero disappointments. This may sound a little drastic, but, in certain regards, it’s true. I was listening to a very powerful speaker recently, who was talking about just this subject. He was quite engaging about this matter, so, I decided to share with you some of the things I learned from him. Unfortunately, I’ve had the “privilege” of learning firsthand about this issue on too many occasions. So, I can speak from my personal experience, and pass along a few of my private thoughts on this topic, too.
To be honest, in the past, I definitely struggled with having expectations in life, whether it was with people, guys, my career, God, or other things. Maybe some of you can relate. I would have high expectations that life circumstances would go in a certain direction, or that people would treat me in a specific way. Then, when things didn’t happen as I had expected, I would become quite disappointed.
For instance, if I was in a close relationship with a guy, and, on any given day, he didn’t act towards me the way I had expected, it could affect my mood for that particular day. I began to see that I was letting other people’s actions, and the circumstances of my life, dictate my emotions from day to day. Funny thing is, I had created those high expectations in the first place that were indirectly affecting my emotions. Let me tell you, this is not, by any means, an enjoyable way to live.
This emotional rollercoaster I was on, as a product of my expectations, lasted for quite some time in my life. But, the good news is that I realized the error of my ways. I have now progressed far from where I was on this issue. (Although, I have to admit that I still struggle with it every so often.) Nevertheless, God has helped me to understand a great deal in regards to this matter, which was confirmed by the speaker I mentioned earlier. You see, it really is true, that when we don’t expect things to go a certain way, it naturally follows that we won’t get disappointed.
I believe we should live a God directed life. Then, we can be free of trying to figure out how life’s circumstances should work out. Anything good that does happen in life can be considered to be a loving blessing from God. As a matter of fact, the aforementioned speaker described a study that had been done to investigate what makes happy people happiest. And, do you know what the main, common factor was among happy people? They had no expectations about their lives. They continued on in life accepting everything as is, living in the present, being satisfied with what they have, and being grateful for anything good that happens to them.
Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have expectations of anything. Obviously in life, there are certain expectations one will naturally have. Such as, if you drive to a destination, you’ll get to that destination. Or, if you cook chicken for an hour, it will be ready to eat. And, if you are nine months pregnant, you will have a baby! There are indeed every day actions that we can expect to end up a certain way. But, what I’m talking about here are expectations that go beyond our common place activities.
These self-imposed expectations hold the power to disappoint us if they do not develop into what we had planned. It’s these types of expectations that I encourage you to give up to God. Hope that originates in our imperfect human nature, always has the potential to disappoint in one way or another. However, we CAN have huge expectations and hope in God and what He’s doing in our lives, because He sees the big picture for us. We can have confident expectation and hope in God, because we know that he is ultimately the One in control of everything. He is the One who is behind everything, working things out for our good, and He is completely and fully trustworthy with each and every matter, in all situations.
So, actually, it’s perfectly fine to have expectations in God. However, as much as I’ve learned to trust God, I also know that I need to be careful not to put specific expectations on God about how life’s circumstances should go. That would be repeating the same disappointing pattern I’ve had in the past. I keep reminding myself that He sees the big picture. I don’t. Therefore, I don’t require God to do things my way. (And, He usually doesn’t; which actually ends up for the better, anyway.)
Besides, it’s best to let Him do as He sees fit, since He knows and sees all things, past, present, and future. We may think we know what we need, but often, we really don’t. God actually knows us better then we know ourselves. For me to stay out of past unsatisfying behaviors, it’s very important for me to understand that God will work everything out for good, because He loves me and is faithful….and, then, leave all the intricacies of how He will work things out up to Him.
This lifts a huge load from my mind, leaves me worry free, and allows me to move through life knowing that my Creator is with me, working out on my behalf every detail of my life. I trust this truth even when circumstances seem to say otherwise. Expectations? Well, they don’t bother me so much anymore. Now, all of the expectation is on God. Phew! That is such a relief! I’ll continue to move forward trusting His faithfulness on this issue. I hope you’ll think about that, too….God is the most essential ingredient for finding a very happy YOU!
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