Like me, some people have a love-hate relationship with their expectations. I love it when mine are met, and hate it when they are not. The upside to high expectations is the privilege to dream and contend for extraordinary outcomes. The downside is the disappointment when the preferred future does not materialize. After a few years of these experiences, some continue to dream big and deal with the downside later, while others dream small to avoid the risk of disappointment altogether.
The strength in an expectation is absolutely dependent upon the reliability of the person or circumstances in which we trust. As you consider areas where you are feeling discouraged, I want to encourage you to put your hope and future in the hands of Jesus Christ--the author and perfecter of our faith, who takes great pleasure in you (Hebrews 12:1-3). When Christ is given the role of Lord and Master, we can surely trust him to bring his preferred future to pass, and to care for us when we feel the loss and disappointment of an unfavorable outcome.
Though imprisoned and facing many setbacks, the apostle Paul understood disappointments, yet trusted God’s love and plan for his life. No matter where you are on your journey with disappointments, may you be encourage by Paul’s words in Ephesians 3:20 as you aim high and keep trusting Him “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:12, 16-21