False Expectations – The Beginning of the End

The Instability of False Expectations

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Have your ever-held false expectations? You wanted, worked for, and maybe even financially sponsored an endeavor in which you held the highest of hopes and expectations for success or the ending you desired but it didn’t come to fruition. It just didn’t work out the way you planned no matter what effort you put into it. Perhaps you did all the right things, dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s but still, it fell apart before your very eyes. You started your endeavor enthusiastically, but it ended in shambles and you were left stunned and not sure what to do next.

Sometimes when our plans, hopes, and dreams turn upside down we begin to grasp at straws trying to grab onto the next best thing that might help us move in a different direction. Maybe this is how the people of Jerusalem felt as Sunday moved to Friday. In their effort to grasp onto help, they got carried away with their own false expectations because they just weren’t listening closely. For in these seven days the world changed but not everyone could see it the same way.

Seven Days

These seven days have inspired countless writings, films, music, art, and architecture. The cultural impact and transformation of these seven days are incalculable in tangible form but even more difficult is to calculate the lives of people that were and continue to be transformed by them.

The seven days play out something like this; on day 1, Sunday, Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey while shouts of praises and adoration herald forth from a crowd. Monday finds him in the Jerusalem Temple upset because the money changers were taking advantage of the worshipers. On Tuesday, Christ teaches through parables warning people of the Pharisees, and predicting the Temple destruction. Wednesday is a day of silence from the gospel writers but is deemed a day of rest by most scholars.

However, Thursday is the scene where the falsely placed expectations begin to fall apart quickly after a Passover meal which we now refer to as the Last Supper. It is the turning point of the week, as Christ’s arrest follows as the day turns to Friday. This is a day of false trials, condemnations, beatings, and sentencing that ultimately lead to a gruesome death. By Saturday, Christ lies quietly in the tomb. But on Sunday, life for all the people of earth change as His resurrection is established by fact. 

Misplaced Hope and False Expectations

This is a week is prefaced by false expectations as the people were praising God for giving them a king. However, they had the wrong idea about Jesus. They were looking for an earthly king, a national leader to make their nation strong and powerful. In their skewed perspective, they created their own ideas that ignored the prophet’s teaching and lead to nothing more than a series of false expectations.

These false expectations lead to the people turning from the support of Christ to full opposition by the end of the week when things didn’t seem to be going the way they wanted. Sometimes, we too, get sidetracked with our own vision or expectations of how things should be or the outcome of situations and when they don’t come through, we also, in our frustration, begin to look for a new plan. And some people, in drastic and often desperate situations, may turn from God as well. When we take our focus off of the real mission of life and our God purposed existence, false expectations can result.

When we place our hope in the things of this earth, we are not only setting ourselves up for false expectations but a lot of failures as well. For when our expectations of life don’t align with what the real mission of life on earth is about, the results may or may not be in our favor. But with our mindset refocused on the real mission of life from God and the eternal goal of a sin-free eternity, we can joyfully praise God no matter the circumstances that our earthly life brings us.

Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!

Luke 19:38 (NLT)

A Life Filled with Continued Hosannas

So, let us change our focus and keep praising God with our continued hosannas knowing that in the end the promises of God always reign. For when we keep our focus on the only one who can deliver us from this world, our false expectations will not cloud our judgment. Remembering that God does not do things according to our plans and expectations but to His, is important because it is, He that sees the whole picture and holds the ultimate plan.

To help us realign ourselves it is important to review our resources frequently, as in the story of the old Navajo Indian who became rich when his property was found with oil. He took all the money and put it in the local bank. His banker became familiar with the habits of the older gentleman. Every so often the native American would show up at the bank and say to the banker, “Grass all gone, sheep all sick, water holes all dry.”

Without a word, the banker would take the man into the vault, show him several bags of silver dollars, and say, “All this is yours.” The older man would spend about an hour stacking up the dollars and counting them. Then he’d return the bags to their place, come out of the vault, and say, “Grass all green, sheep all well, water holes all full.”


Review Your Resources Frequently to Prevent False Expectations

When you fully review your resources and put your focus on the source of life, false expectations in the world disappear as you align your life with the one who gives it. Won’t you challenge yourself to praise even when your earthly expectations fail? Allow your convictions to carry you on the full promises of God. Be motivated in knowing that God not only has a plan, but His plan will prevail in the end. He has already won the war and the end of the story is written because on the 7th day He Arose! And it is in this full knowledge of God’s love for us that we can shout…

Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!

Luke 19:38 (NLT)

Love in Christ,

E.J.

Postscript

Blessed are the single-hearted, for they shall enjoy much peace…If you refuse to be hurried and pressed, if you stay your soul on God, nothing can keep you from that clearness of spirit which is life, and peace. In that stillness, you know what His will is.


Amy Carmichael, missionary to India

Extra Study

Psalms 118:25-26; 148:1, Luke 2:14, 13:35

What Are Your Thoughts?

Have ever you lost your focus on the purpose of life by placing false expectations of faith in the world? Can you identify with the need to refocus your expectations to reset your mission in life? Share your thoughts on how quickly life fails when your focus becomes rooted in the false expectations of the world instead of the One that deserves all our blessings honor, and praise.

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How God is working through your life?