God wants His children to have desires and expectations that are motivating as well as enriching. However, some disappointment is inevitable in this fallen world. So how can we determine where to place our hope—and the way to respond if it is not fulfilled?
Hope is secure when it is aligned with the Lord’s desires, which are revealed in Scripture. However, many of our expectations are based on wishes or feelings. We long for job promotions, good health, or quick solutions to our problems. Though these are things we want, we have no absolute promise from the Lord that they’re part of His will for us.
Disappointment with God can occur whenever our expectations do not coincide with His plan. Even when hope is based on a scriptural promise, the Lord may not fulfill it in the way or the time that we expect. We should remember that though God may appear inactive, He is moving beneath the surface, preparing us for the future.
The key to contentment and joy lies in placing all our personal hopes under the umbrella of our ultimate hope in the Lord. God is sovereign and good. He always wants what is best for us and never makes a mistake. His ways are higher than ours and, in many ways, beyond human understanding.
From a limited and fallen perspective, we may be like a 5-year-old who wants candy at every meal. Sometimes God has to dash our hopes in order to give us what He knows is best. Ask Him to clarify and direct your desires to coincide with His way. Then rest in His goodness and keep your hope in Him.
By Charles F. Stanley
Originally posted at InTouch.org.