Where to Get Those Expectations

I’ve been wading through the book of Micah, and am still on Chapter 1. Verses 9 – 16 contain several metaphors, similes, onomatopoeias, and paronomasias (play on words), and led me to dig a little deeper. Yeah, God is deep; deeper than any of us can ever be.

Micah 1.12 (For the inhabitant of Maroth waited carefully for good: but evil came down from the LORD unto the gate of Jerusalem.) made sense to me. I looked up Maroth, and it means bitterness. They are waiting for relief, but God sends only evil.

It’s interesting that, whenever hardship, evil, disaster hits, we wait for relief; we pray for things to get better, back to “normal.” But our expectations are skewed.

Unbelievers may think they can work their way out, that none of this was deserved and, if there was a God, He should be cursed.

Believers can pray and hope for eternal relief / joy; but in this sinful world, we may not expect things to “get better.” Indeed, we have no right to expect things to get better: although we have every right (and we are passionately invited) to pray about every and all situation/s.

Whatever that situation is, we know that our relief, our hope comes from the Lord (Psalms 62, for example).

God has His own thoughts and plans.

Jeremiah 29.11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.

Isaiah 55.8, 9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

We must consider what our expectations are: are they realistic and Biblical? Pray to God about expectations, and ask Him to place them where they belong.

Isaiah 26.3, 4 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

I Was Laid Taciturn By My Expectations


“I was laid taciturn by my expectations, and education lifted my hopes.”

When one dreams, can the contents of said dream be contributed to the dreamer? In other words, can the dreamer take credit for anything created in that dream?

I awoke at 6:11 this morning from a dream. This is what I remember:

Picture a man, a husband and father, mulling over the year past, feeling melancholy over the passage of time and of beginning yet another year afresh. He draws his journal to him with the intent of writing some words of substance to close out the old year. But first, he thinks, he will turn back the pages see what he had writ there on the last day of the year previous. These words were on the page: “I was laid taciturn by my expectations, and education lifted my hopes.”

I awoke, as I say, from that dream and pondered what I had just read. I had to write it down, as I knew I would be unable to ponder that which I could not remember.

From dictionary.com: taciturn: adjective; 1. Inclined to silence; reserved in speech; reluctant to join in conversation. 2. Dour, stern, and silent in expression and manner.  Education: noun; the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.

I have heard the phrase “laid low,” as to mean something happened and a person felt low as a result. I transitioned that for “laid taciturn” to mean something happened and a person felt taciturn as a result.

I have written about Expectations previously. The gist is that we base our expectations on what we perceive as truth.

So maybe my dream’s quote is a re-mash of an old blog: Learn what real Truth is. Read the Bible, God’s Word (educate yourself). Ask His Spirit to rightly divide the Word for you, and to interpret how to live accordingly. Base your feelings on what God says about you and your circumstances. Put your hope in the Lord.

For this new year, lay aside old, worn-out expectations. Read and put your hope and faith in God and His Word.

I hope that man in the dream was able to reflect on some positive changes he made from the revelations of the previous year.

Environment Shapes Expectations

EnvironmentShapesExpectationsimage from Google Images

How did you grow up? What was your environment?

If you grew up in a loving, two-parent family, with God at the center, then your expectations can be that you are loveable, God loves you, people love you, family is important, you are to give love to others, and God will heap joy upon joy as you serve Him.

If you grew up in an abusive, neglectful, caustic home, then your expectations can be that you are worthless, love hurts, no one is to be trusted, hurt others before they hurt you, comfort is found in a bottle or needle or pill or escape, and you get out of life less than what you put in.

So many environments on the continuum of homes and people and circumstances. And these are by no means hard-and-fast rules: unhappy / ungrateful people come from loving homes; giving / joyous people come from hurtful homes.

The good, amazing, glorious news is that God can change everything. If you came from a good home, He can make it glorious. If you came from a bad home, He can make it glorious. And by making all things new, He glorifies Himself AND (not as a by-product, but part of His glorious design) brings us peace and joy.

God gives each of us an environment for His purposes, for His glory. Only He can bring beauty from ashes. Only God can change expectations.

In His Word, through His Spirit, and through His people, God can bring hope, light, love, comfort, joy, peace into any environment, into any heart.

And He wants to.

Ask Him. Seek Him. Lift up your voice and cry for Him. Incline your ear to Him. Apply your heart to Him. Open your life to Him.

Surrender to God.


Do you go to the movies? Sometimes we go to a movie after we’ve heard all about it: seen the ads, watched the trailers online, heard our friends talk about it. We go with expectations. If everyone loved the movie and raves about it, our expectations are high. I hate going to a movie with high expectations; I’m almost always disappointed.


I believe the truth will set us free from expectations.

Truth and expectations are related. However, make sure where the plumb line of your truth lies. Some think we live by our own truth, that we should do whatever our conscience and personal happiness monitor tells us.

“Expectations” is a relative term. It often depends on how we feel.

Our expectations are related to what we hold as truth.

Take a look at your own expectations. You expect your spouse to be kind and understanding? Think your kids should be grateful? You get angry when things don’t go as you think they ought? You expected good health for yourself / your loved one / your friend / children? You expected a smooth drive to your destination today?

Hard truths:

  • You don’t deserve to live; you deserve to die. (Romans 6.23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.)
  • You don’t deserve to be happy; you deserve to suffer the consequences of your sin. (Psalm 34.16 The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.)
  • Truth is what God says (read His Word), not what the world says. (John 17.17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.)
  • Truth is what God says (read His Word), not what your conscience tells you. (Romans 8.13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.)
  • You don’t have any goodness in you; neither does anyone else. (Psalm 14.2, 3 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.)
  • There is no way you can go to Heaven without Jesus. (John 14.6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.)
  • You don’t have any good works in you; nobody has any good works in them. (John 15.5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.)
  • God created evil. (Isaiah 45.7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. Proverbs 16.4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. Colossians 1.16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.)

Those truths are what we are in and of ourselves: nothing, evil, dead, wrong, lost.

EVERYBODY IS! We cannot expect other people to be any better than what we are. We can expect that we hurt other people, and other people hurt us – really, really badly.

Disappointment, disgust, disapproval, disillusionment, disrespect, bitterness, jealousy, hurt feelings – all these come from expectations.

But look!

The truth is, we must set our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12.2); the Perfecter of who we are and who we can become.

Also true:

  • God created us in love (Jeremiah 31.1 I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with loving devotion.)
  • God redeems. (Isaiah 44.24 the LORD, thy redeemer… he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself)
  • God will guide you into truth (John 16.13 … when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth…)
  • He cherishes you. He is powerful and can save you. (Zephaniah 3.17 The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.)
  • God gives us hope. (Isaiah 44.22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.)

God says we are loveable, cherished, special, and made in His image. Through Christ, we are redeemed, worthy, righteous, and alive.

When I go to movies, I try to set my expectations to zero. If I have low expectations, then I can be pleasantly surprised (maybe) with how it turns out.

We can similarly set our expectations when dealing with people. Are we to set them at zero, expect the worst from everyone? There is no set pattern. God doesn’t work that way. Set your heart and mind on God. See what He says. But do remember that we are all fallen – ALL of us. Forgive. Give grace. God’s grace.