Expectation is actually a beautiful thing. It stems from a place of hope within us, and I believe that to be a good quality to have growing inside your heart.
I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times – lower your expectations. I do believe those can be wise words of advice, specifically when it comes to relationships with others. Frequently we hope for people to come through for us in some way or another, and for whatever reason, they don’t. What follows can be anything from mild disappointment to absolute heartbreak to anger to resentment. Such fun emotions. I could ramble on about relationships and expectation, but the deeper issue here is HOPE.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick.”
...according to Solomon and everyone who’s ever encountered disappointment.
I bumped up against a wee bit of disappointment this week. Nothing earth shattering, and chances are if you ask me about it next week, I’ll have an airhead moment and not remember the particulars of what was bumming me out. Still though, disappointment feels very real when you’re smack dab in the middle of it. So I’m part way through this little bout of hope deferred, and it has me thinking about digging deeper. When our hearts are dashed, our instinct is to pull back, give in to resentment towards God or life or people, despise that we hoped for more in the first place, call ourselves naïve for thinking we would have more relationally, spiritually, financially, emotionally, you-name-it. Those are obviously poor responses, but what is the right response when our hearts feel a little broken by life and circumstances? How do you walk out practical, everyday hope that makes room for breakthrough? Because we are about breakthrough. We are about God changing things.
I think belief is an avenue for change – for breakthrough. Change is needed and good and God’s heart. I believe eternal hope is the well from which powerful hope flows, but too often we claim we have hope, and perhaps we do, but it doesn’t translate into a life of active belief in what God is actually saying for the here and now. I know we don’t live in a perfect world, but sometimes we postpone victories that God intended for now because we succumb to mindsets that relegate God’s Kingdom to only some distant future reality. We fail to partner with God by believing what He is saying about our present by assuming everything He says applies only to “someday in eternity.” I know it feels hard when your experience isn’t matching what God is saying is His heart. I KNOW. Trust me. But we aren’t supposed to give up hope. We’re meant to stay so close to His heart, tuned in, listening to what He is saying so that our hearts can navigate the deep waters of sadness and disappointment. How we navigate hope determines our trajectory in life.
Connecting to God’s heart in the middle of the mild and severe disappointments of life is imperative to walking hope deferred in a way that keeps your heart healthy instead of sick. It is only His redemptive perspective on this world that can keep our hearts beating hopeful for a world that is chaotic. Having a hopeful heart that believes what He says is the catalyst for great change.