When we enter into a relationship with someone we have some general expectations. As we show that we are genuinely invested in the relationship, we anticipate that the person will give us certain things in return. Honestly, love and care are just some of the few expectations that one might have in relationships.
Sometimes, however, we create expectations that are unreasonable, demanding, or rash. We begin to think that the other person might owe us more, or hope that they will give us more than they are able to. When the person doesn’t fulfill these desires you might feel frustrated, angry or disappointed. In turn, it can make the person feel less-than, inadequate, and frustrated as well. Adjusting expectations to be realistic is important in keeping relationships healthy and thriving.
For example, in a romantic relationship your partner might have the expectation that you should always know them well enough to know exactly what they want or need in any given situation. When you are confused due to not being a mind reader, this causes frustration on both sides. An unrealistic expectation is not met and instead arguments happen and disappointment rises. A realistic expectation, instead, is that your partner will communicate to the best of their ability their wants and needs.
When we decide to build a relationship with God, we can also enter with a list of expectations. Some of our expectations are unrealistic which causes a break down in our relationship with Him. Instead, by adjusting what we expect out of the relationship we are given an opportunity to grow in our faith, build trust with Him, and reap the benefits of living a Christian life.
Here are the things you can expect from God.
He is Always Going to Listen
It can be hard for some to feel the presence of God or to hear His voice. How do you connect with a God who is invisible? Despite God not physically standing in front of you, He is permanently there. We know from scripture that God never leaves His children behind (Joshua 1:9) and always has an ear open for us (Psalm 66:19). God cannot stop loving us (Jeremiah 31:3) and He cannot stop thinking about us (Psalm 139:17-18). We can expect Him to listen to each and every prayer, despite its contents. God wants to talk with you on a regular basis to grow the relationship and the best way to do so is through devotions and prayer. Sometimes, He might not answer our prayers in the way we think or hope He will but that does not mean He isn’t listening.
He Has a Plan For You
We also know from scripture that God has a plan for each of His children (Jeremiah 29:11). We think we might know what we want in life but sometimes God has something greater in store for us. This is one reason why He might not answer your prayers right away. We cannot expect God to disclose His master plan for our lives the second we ask Him too, and instead it can be a slow process. However with diligence to the Christian faith, your future will reveal itself. While we wait, we can cast our anxiety, stress and fear about our future on God who will help us through our journey (Psalm 55:22). He will sustain you through all trials and tribulations if you seek Him out.
He Can Bless You With Eternal Life
In one of the most well-known verses of the Bible, we are told that God will grant eternal life to those who have faith in Jesus Christ. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). This is such an exciting promise and we are incredibly blessed to be given such an opportunity. While we can expect to be offered this gift, we must first understand that God has expectations of us as well. God expects us to believe in His one and only Son and take Him into our heart. God also asks that we repent for our sins and seek salvation. When we start a lifelong commitment to building our faith we can then look forward to one day living an eternal life in Heaven.
What God Can’t Do
While there are so many things God can give back to us, we need to understand some of the things He cannot. One important thing to understand is that God is not a magical being that is designed to satisfy our every whim. Prayer is not magic, and while God can perform miracles that doesn’t mean it is always going to happen. It might not be a part of God’s greater plan for you or for someone else. Sometimes God does things so new doors will open instead and we have to trust that He knows what He is doing.
God also can’t give us all perfect and easy lives. We live in a world that is full of temptation and sin that we all succumb to.Adam and Eve unleased a world where evil and suffering could occur. God honors our choices even if they bring unintended consequences of pain and suffering. Yet God is in control, and He can redeem even the most heinous choices and the most awful pain and suffering. We can expect Him to help us when we fall short of His glory if we go back to seek Him and strive to better ourselves as Christians.
When we understand what God can and cannot do for us, we create realistic expectations for developing a relationship with Him. God has so many great things in store for each of us if we choose to let Him have control of our lives. By focusing on the things that God has promised each of us, we build a relationship that has a strong foundation of trust.