I was on a high last week after I was able to teach and speak at my local Bible Study Fellowship class. I always come away from speaking in awe of how God showed up for me personally and through me for the listener. To Him be the glory!
But then Wednesday morning happened.
I found out that our original plans for Thanksgiving, my expectations of my whole family gathered around the table, lingering in conversation and laughter, would not be happening. We had to make a tough decision but it was the wise decision. I wasn’t mad by any means, but I was disappointed.
What I was expecting, what I had planned on, and what I had hoped for, did not measure up, and it in fact had failed.
I recently read in a fictional book a line that got to me, “Disappointment comes from expectation…”
Was that really true?
Does all expectation lead to disappointment?
The answer – yes and no. Let me tell you why…
With expectation there is hope. Hope for Thanksgiving together. Hope to get the job. Hope that the baby will be healthy. Hope that your marriage will survive. Hope that you gain wealth. Hope that your husband will be romantic and get you a really thoughtful gift this year. Hope that you won’t have to sit in traffic. Hope that the prognosis will be good. Hope that covid will end. Hope that you’re good enough. Hope that…you fill in the blank.
This kind of hope is worldly hope. Worldly hope is nothing beyond wishful thinking and unfortunately, with worldly hope and expectation, there is always disappointment. Yes, it may be true that we can hope for something and it turns out amazing, but in the end, it will lead to disappointment.
When we have this type of hope, we are putting our faith in something that is broken, something that is riddled with sin, and something that is flawed. When we put our hope in this world or in the people living in this world, we will always be disappointed. There’s no way around it.
That’s not very encouraging, is it?!
Let me flip to the other side and tell you why and how a certain type of expectation will never lead to disappointment.
The type of expectation that will never lead to disappointment is the hope that is only found in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
This type of expectation is biblical hope. And biblical hope is something you can fully trust, fully claim and fully walk forward in with the confidence that what God promises, he will do.
Biblical hope is secure. It is solid. It is true.
Biblical hope does not shift with the tides of culture, it does not get tossed about like waves crashing on the shore. Biblical hope is “an anchor for our souls, firm and secure” (Hebrews 6:19).
Biblical hope is found in Christ alone.
In Christ we don’t have to wishfully think our way through life, hoping this or hoping that. Instead, when our hope is in Christ, we get to say with complete confidence, assurance and truth – God is with me and will never leave me; I am forgiven for past, present and future sins; I am known fully; I am lavishly loved by God; I am a child of God; God will provide for my needs; I will walk through suffering but that suffering will bring about perseverance and will grow my faith; God is working for my good; the Holy Spirit lives inside of me; God will complete his work in me one day; Jesus is victorious over Satan; Jesus will return; I will spend eternity praising my God.
While there is disappointment in worldly hope, true Hope is Christ. And there is no disappointment in Him.
This past Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent. Advent means “arrival.” It is the four weeks before Christmas to remind ourselves of the first arrival of Jesus. Light piercing the darkness. It is also a reminder to prepare and ready ourselves for the second arrival of Jesus.
Churches around the globe lit the candle of Hope this week symbolizing our assured hope that God will fulfill every promise that he has made, including the promise that Jesus will arrive again and that believers will spend eternity with him. What hope we have!
So today I ask you, friend, where are you placing your hope? Are your expectations only leading to disappointment? Turn your heart and mind to the only true, secure and solid hope, Christ. He won’t disappoint!
Hope is Christ.
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.” Psalm 62:5
Jesus, our hope is in you alone. Thanks be to you.