What are your expectations? Do you have high expectations or low expectations? Are you someone who expects everything to go a certain way? Or Are you someone who just ‘goes with the flow’? No matter which side you find yourself, I think we all have certain expectations out of life. When events don’t turn out the way you expected, how does that affect you? Do you go with it? Or Does it frustrate and upset you? Are you understanding and gracious or do your expectations control your emotions towards others in an unhealthy manner?
It has recently been pointed out to me that my expectations are too high. This has been one of the hardest things for me to hear. Truth hurts, even if it’s done in love. Maybe my expectations are too high, maybe I need to learn to be more gracious, and maybe I need to learn to be thankful for what happens and not bitter and angry about events that I have no control over, maybe just maybe as we close out this last year and look to the new year, God wants me to stop expecting people to do certain things, and stop expecting that life will turn out like I want or hoped, and to walk in grace.
The definition of grace is, “grace is a gift or available resource with no strings attached” (Romans 4:4-5; 11:29). In addition, “a mature disciple of Jesus Christ is one who is a faithful administrator of God’s grace rather than a consumer of it” (1st Peter 4:8-11). Grace living is one of the hardest ways to live but yet it’s God’s way. It is the natural product of abiding in a God-centered rather than a self-centered universe (Ephesians 1:3-2:10, James 3:17). My desire for the new year is to be a person who lives free from the bondage to external influences and high expectations of others, and someone who uses my freedom in Christ to initiate grace living in every relationship as a mature disciple of Christ.
What about you? What new changes will you make to help you be better for the kingdom this year?
Romans 4:4-5 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. 5But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness
Romans 11:29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
1st Peter 4:8-11 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” 9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. 10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
Ephesians 1:3-2:10 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. 15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. 22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
2 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.