"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death." Philippians 1:20
Have you ever had expectations that did not get fulfilled? Perhaps a
coworker let you down. Perhaps you were trusting God for something in
your life that never materialized. Perhaps you became devastated by an
unmet expectation that you felt you were entitled to. Expectations can
be a difficult trap for each of us if we are not fully committed to
God's purposes in our lives.
Paul wrote this verse from prison to the people of Philippi. He had an
expectation that his life would bring glory to God, whether through his
continued ministry or his death. His joy in living was not based on his
expectations getting fulfilled, but on remaining true to the purpose for
which God made him.
When we react to circumstances with bitterness and resentment as a
result of unmet expectations, we are saying that we know better than
God, and that God has made a mistake in not meeting our expectations.
The process of resolving unmet expectations may require full disclosure
to the individual who was the source of the unmet expectation, and of
how the unmet expectation made you feel. This is not to make the person
feel obligated to meet the expectation, but simply to share your
feelings about it. If God was the source, then it is important to share
this with the Lord. However, once we have done this we must let go of
the situation and allow God to work in our hearts the grace that is
needed to walk in freedom from the pain of the unmet expectation. If we
do not do this, we will allow the seed of bitterness and resentment to
enter in. This seed of bitterness will create leanness in our soul and
eventually will spread to others.
Ask yourself today if you have any unmet expectations. How have you
responded to them? Have you processed this with the Lord and others who
may be involved? These are the steps to freedom from unmet expectations.