exÂ·pect : verb: Latin exspectare to look forward to, to look -- more at SPY to anticipate or look forward to the coming or occurrence of : SUPPOSE, to consider probable or certain.. implies a high degree of certainty and usually involves the idea of preparing or envisioning.
I know so many people who prayed, expecting and did not get what they prayed for. They expected God the magician to show up and do their bidding. Make their husband love them as Christ loves the church, make their boss give them that promotion. But when He doesn't perform as Expected it makes them question whether they did everything they were supposed to in order to get God to perform. You know what I'm talking about-"Did I not pray enough, maybe I should have fasted, maybe there is sin in my life I don't know about, why didn't God answer my prayer for something that is Godly, good,righteouss?" Then they go on to expect another day.
What does the bible say for us to expect? Matthew 24:44 says to expect Him to return when we least expect it. Roman's 8:19 speaks of waiting, expecting the sons of God to be revealed and Hebrews 10:27 says the enemies of God can expect judgment and fire. I think doctrinally we confuse Hope with expectation and what we want with what we feel He wants for us. See, everytime we expect a certain outcome we apply limitations, by our will, on His perfect plan.
The problem in expecting is the disappointment that comes when expectations are not met. We don't know why this life plays out like it does, we do know that as a Christian our life is not our own, we are to die to self, lay down our dreams and expectations to the will of God. Jesus prayed "not my will but yours father.. (matthew 26:39) before He gave His life for us.
We are promised abundant life, and we are told to ask and we will receive but if we ask always in light of dieing to self, saying not my will but thine lord, then we will not expect, we will hope in Jesus and walk each second of each day in obedience to Him.
I loved when I heard that John Maxwell says not to set goals but to live everyday in obedience. He goes on to say that any goals or Expectations we have are far exceeded by what God has for us. I have always believed that but had never heard a leadership guru such as John Maxwell say it. For me, I just always felt like I could not set goals far off and every time I did set them God changed everything. There have been visions and things I thought would happen. But I can honestly say I did not expect them to happen and God always surprises me with better then I could ever imagine.