Week of Nov. 18
A Prayer of Expectation
Have you noticed that the higher our expectations, the greater our disappointment when they are not met? Whether our unrealistic expectations are placed in other people, in our own strength or in specific situations, we will always experience discouragement when things do not go as planned. This discouragement can easily lead to entrenched disappointment and depression.
But when our expectations are placed in the promises of God, we will never be disappointed. His timing may not always be as quick as we would like. His methods may be different from what we expected, but God will always follow through on His promises.
Luke 2:25-35. Simeon had placed his expectations on God's faithfulness. "Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ" (Luke 2:25, 26).
He had spent his lifetime anticipating the arrival of the Messiah. And because God had told him he would personally see the Christ, Simeon knew that Jesus would be born in his lifetime. After years of waiting and watching, Simeon was ready to be relieved of his post.
When he held the Christ child in his arms, he prayed to God, "‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel'" (Luke 2:30-32).
Simeon's prayer was a confident prayer. He was not surprised that God had fulfilled His promise. He knew God would remain faithful. "For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does" (Psalm 33:4).
Simeon's expectations were met because they were rooted in the promises of God. God had promised to send the Messiah, so He sent Jesus Christ to earth. Simeon never gave up on God, and God did not disappoint him.
What a contrast to the expectations we place on this world! We place high expectations in the wrong things and the wrong people and are surprised when we end up bitterly disappointed. We forget that the only One who will never disappoint us is God.
Have you been disappointed by this world? Has a friend let you down? Has a cherished relationship soured? Have your finances crumbled or your career detoured? Seek the comfort of the Lord today in each of those disappointments. He wants to hear your heart's cry. He has the desire to bring you peace unlike anything you have experienced.
Ask for the Spirit's help in identifying your unrealistic expectations. Ask for His help in releasing your expectations of this world. Begin to develop expectations in the promises of God, which will never disappoint.
"And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."
Don't be tempted to toss in the towel and give up running the race. Shore up your confidence in God, today. Michael Youssef explores this topic in our free resource this month—"Don't Lose Your Confidence." Download it today.
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