Because of prophecy, the Jewish people had anticipated a savior for centuries, and they were expecting a royal king who’d set them free and establish an earthly kingdom. Imagine their surprise and disbelief when they were told their savior was born to a common family in a manger in Bethlehem, the lowliest of places in a lowly town. What the Jewish people got did not meet their expectations.
But God isn’t in the business of meeting expectations. He’s in the business of blowing them out of the water. Jesus is an incredible example of God’s exceeding goodness. Through Jesus, God met needs the Jewish people didn’t even realize they had. He provided much more than the fleeting prosperity of an earthly kingdom. He established His eternal kingdom, provided salvation, reconciled humans to right relationship with God, and brought hope to a broken world.
How often do we place our expectations on God, assuming He’ll work according to our timeline and plan? This habit isn’t great for our faith because God rarely moves on our schedule, and His answers rarely match what we envision.
We need to understand the difference between placing our expectations on God versus trusting in His plan and being expectant that He will see it through to completion in our lives. Placing our expectations on God can set us up for disappointment, frustration, and resentment when they go unmet, but having a healthy expectancy of God can feed our faith.
What desire has God placed in your heart? This Christmas, find comfort in knowing that God wants to do more than meet your expectations. He wants to exceed them. Take heart in the fact that God can do far more than we can even think to ask of Him. Expect God to move, trust His process, and watch your faith grow.
Prayer: Father, thank You for the reminder I have in Jesus that You are graciously meeting needs I don’t even know I have. This Christmas, I pray for confidence in what I hope for but cannot see yet. Help my faith in Your faithfulness increase. Thank You for being the God who exceeds expectations. Your timing is perfect, and Your plan is best. Have Your way in my life!
Luke 2:1-7 “At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.”
Hebrews 11:1 Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.
Ephesians 3:20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.