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Elizabeth Elliot – “There is no perfect life, no perfect job, no perfect childhood, no perfect marriage, and no perfect set of people who will always do what we expect them to do. What we have is a perfect God who is able to lead us through this imperfect life with unfailing strength. In comparable wisdom and infinite love.”

Expectations can both support and impede us. For instance, if we ask someone to do something and they agree, we may be assured by their willingness that thing to happen. Conversely, if we anticipate someone to behave in a certain manner and they fail to do so, it can lead to disappointment due to the unmet expectation. We have transferred an expectation that we have on others and that is not what we should do.

Rather than set our expectation according to how something appears or feels, we should instead renew our minds according to the truth of who God is and what He says.

As stated in 2 Corinthians 3:4-5, "We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God."

Our confidence should be in the Lord and not our own abilities or the abilities of others.

When establishing expectations, we sometimes allow them to govern and influence our thoughts and emotions, which, as mentioned, can sometimes be beneficial but other times detrimental.

Realistic expectations typically don't disturb us. However, unrealistic expectations often lead to trouble. When we place expectations on ourselves and fail to meet them, the resulting disappointment can be more challenging to bear than any external pressure.

Proverbs 19:21 states, "You can make many plans, but the Lord's purpose will prevail."

In my childhood, I often hoped for and expected certain outcomes. When these didn't materialize, I felt upset and disappointed. However, since I never communicated my expectations to anyone, my disappointment was self-contained. It was solely my own issue.

While we can make plans and set expectations, ultimately, events will unfold according to the divine plan laid out by the Lord.

I used to expect people to react or behave in ways that mirrored my own tendencies. This often left me feeling upset, as I falsely assumed that others would respond as I would. Such thinking is unrealistic. Each individual is unique, and while some may share similarities with us, no one will act in precisely the same manner as we would.

The Lord worked on my heart and mind, revealing my unrealistic expectations not only of myself but also of others. He helped me to see, understand and how to overcome so that I would be able to focus on what He has for me and not focus on my expectations of myself or others.

Psalm 39:7 says, “And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.”

When we place our hope in the Lord, our expectations lose their significance. Following God's plan for us transcends any personal expectations we may have.

Posture you heart and mind toward the Lord and what He has for you each day.

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