Three Powerful Lessons of Unmet Expectations

What are the most powerful lessons of unmet expectations?

Everybody knows how an unmet expectation feels: an explosive mixture of disappointment, discontent, pain, anger, insecurity, and doubt. Unmet expectations make us doubt God’s love and His good intentions.

Questions like “Does God even care about my desires?”, “Does He really want to bless me?” spread sticky nets of doubt that erode our trust and diminish our hope. If we leave these responses unaddressed and unprocessed, we risk falling into a constant state of discouragement and negativism.

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Three Lessons of Unmet Expectations

Our logic is simple. If God loves us, He would care about our desires and expectations, and He would bless us by giving us what we expect. And mind you, we talk about good things here: a well-paying job, good health, children, a happy marriage, a faithful and caring husband, good friends, satisfying relationships, long life, a fair treat, and the list goes on.

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Many of these expectations would not be met. But this has nothing to do with God not loving you or not wanting to bless you. Quite the opposite, God has buried precious lessons and blessings in unmet expectations.

Learning to Let God Become Our Everything

As long as we tie our happiness to things and people we can lose and that will inevitably disappoint us, we are vulnerable. The satisfaction we crave remains elusive. However, unmet expectations channel this yearning for deep satisfaction and happiness towards God if we choose to embrace their invitation.

In the center of the life, God wants for us, is God Himself–the One we will never lose and Who will never disappoint us. When He becomes our everything, then our happiness is secure and we start living the life as He intended it.

Then, we can declare with the psalmist, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26)

In the center of the life, God wants for us, is God Himself–the One we will never lose and Who will never disappoint us. #happiness #satisfaction #encouragement Share on X

Learning to Know the Depths of God’s Love

Life and people will disappoint us. But it is our response to these disappointments that makes the difference.

Unmet expectations are designed to propel us closer to God, to enable us “to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” (Ephesians 3:18)

There are depths of God’s love and grace that we can only experience when we have been pulled down in the bitter waters of disappointment and losses. It is in these dark, cold waters that God moves even closer. In the darkness, He lets us experience the inexpressible comfort of His presence. It is there that we learn His presence is enough.

There are depths of God's love that we can only experience when we have been pulled down in the bitter waters of disappointment and losses. #encouragement #hope #loss Share on X

Learning to Put Our Hopes Only in God

When our hopes for things and people in this life are dashed, God offers us a greater hope that doesn’t disappoint. This is the hope of “a new heaven and new earth, where righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13), of all things made right, of the renewal of all things.

Every unmet expectation is an opportunity to grow roots into this glorious hope and to invest our deepest longings into it.

If you need to learn more about the renewal of all things, I can recommend the amazing book of John Eldridge “All Things New: Heaven, Earth and the Restoration of Everything You Love”.

If you enjoy devotionals, this is my favorite devotional book based on the above book: “Restoration Year: a 365-Day Devotional!

Unmet Expectations Are Needed Training

These three powerful lessons of unmet expectations are tied to the process of spiritual growth, preparing us for the splendorous future of God’s beloved.

God wants to give us more. He wants to bless us immeasurably more than what we want for ourselves. He is setting us up for more and greater rewards that will exceed our meager expectations. The question is: will you open your heart to these surprising gifts of unmet expectations today?

Do you want to learn more about unmet expectations, adversity, and spiritual maturity? Check out my interview with Ashley Moore on her podcast Be the Two.

More Encouragement for You

If you need more resources, encouragement, and comfort when you struggle with unmet expectations, I can highly recommend these books. Check them out.

Draw Near: How Painful Experiences Become the Birthplace of Blessings by Hadassah Treu

Trusting God in All the Things: 90 Devotions for Finding Peace in Your Every Day by Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk

Make Up Your Mind: Unlock Your Thoughts, Transform Your Life by Denise Dubois Pass and Michelle Nietert

Life Can Be Good Again by Lisa Appelo

It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way by Lisa Terkeurst

Hope When Life Unravels: Finding God When It Hurts by Adam Dooley

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Unmet expectations channel our yearning for deep satisfaction and happiness towards God. #expectations #happiness #encouragement #CompelTraining Share on X

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8 Replies to “Three Powerful Lessons of Unmet Expectations”

  1. I am met daily with unmet expectations, but I do know God is always in control of every situation. He has never failed me and I lean on Him daily. Life is hard, but trusting in God is easy!

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