Why do we say have your way Lord and then struggle when things don’t go as we hoped. It’s because what we really meant was do things the way I think they should be done. I think we can hide these expectation in our hearts, unseen. Then of course the enemy uses it to beat us up, discourage us and bring us to a place of brokenness and despair. All of these things don’t come from God forsaking us but rather us tying His response to our expectations. We feel discouraged and broken because God didn’t do things our way.
Have you ever tried to duplicate something that someone else does? It’s virtually impossible to do it literally exactly the same way because the one factor that always differs is you. I spent years trying to make my Grandmother’s banana bread and while I have gotten lots of incredible feedback on the flavor etc it’s still not the same as she used to make. I think we forget that God’s ways are not our ways. He sees the bigger picture and will function according to His plans, not ours. He is not trying to do things our way and it’s okay because the result will be good.
His ways are higher than ours. If we actively believe this to be true than we can’t be letting the enemy lay unseen expectations in our hearts that lead us to harbor frustrations, anger or disappointment at the results.
So how do we have hope if we can’t expect? Well, I never said don’t expect. Absolutely expect! Expect God to respond to you with your best in mind. It may not look the way you think it will, the steps forward may not seem to make sense but we can expect that God will be with us, He will walk through whatever we are facing with us.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
Romans 8:28 NKJV
Consider this did Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego know that they would be joined by Jesus in the fire and come out without even the smell of smoke on them or did they simply know that whatever God did it would be for their best? They still had to go into the fire, they still had to be ok if God’s response was not what they expected. All they knew was that in the moment they had a choice to make to bow to the demands or to stand and trust God. They didn’t harbor expectations in their heart that the fire would be quenched by rain before they had to enter it and then become angry when it didn’t happen. They didn’t hold their breath that the king would change his mind and relent. No, they placed their expectations on God’s nature and promise that He would always be with us.
I have been going through cancer treatment and the initial oral medication and injections don’t seem to be shrinking the tumors. I am now facing having to do more aggressive IV chemotherapy to try and get that result. The night I got my scan results I sat on my deck and struggled. So many are praying and I know God is a God who heals. I poured my heart out to God and asked why I wasn’t seeing the manifestation. Why after nine months of treatment was I still in the same boat? There in the quiet I slowly began to realize He had answered. The cancer was no longer spreading. I physically have seen improvement in my breathing and mobility. I have even been able to do some small exercises. Physically I was feeling better most days despite some side effects my life was better than when I began. Things had gotten better but in my heart I was holding an expectation of how He would answer my prayers and all those being said by others. He showed me that I was allowing the enemy to bring despair and discouragement to my heart because I didn’t see what I expected. Instead of seeing all that He has done all I could see is what I thought He hadn’t done.
So I may be faced with going into a bigger fire but I trust that He is not done with His plans for me and that I will come out without even the smell of smoke because He will be with me in the fiery furnace. I hope that the next challenge you face this will come back to you and remind you not to hold unseen expectations in your heart l. Don’t allow the enemy to lie to you that God hasn’t answered. I hope that this reminds you that He loves you and is with you always. I hope it reminds you to place your hope and expectations on Him.