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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Byers


Updated: Oct 13, 2021

Acts 3 narrates an amazing incident where a man lame from birth sat daily at the Beautiful Gate to beg. Peter and John walked by as he was pleading for alms and said: “Look at us.” So he did, he looked. He “began to give them his attention expecting to receive something (3:5).” Far greater than alms, he received a healed and limber body, able to walk and leap! The precursor to his healing was his expectancy…he really looked towards those who carried the healing Presence and gave his attention to what they were offering.

Isaiah 64:3 declares: “You did awesome things which we did not expect (shocking your enemies).” But we should expect because the next verse in Isaiah holds up a declaration of the nature of our God as the One “Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.” This waiting should be filled with hopeful anticipation, with joyful expectancy, with an open heart, knowing He is the source of all good things to come. He is the One who commands his lovingkindness toward us (Ps. 42:8), whose plans for us are good (Jer. 29:11).

Are you expecting his goodness to meet you all along the way? Are you able to embrace the truth of Psalm 59:10, that “My God in his lovingkindness will meet me?” He wants us to expect that we will encounter his goodness, not shame and condemnation. He wants us to expect health to spring up, dry wells to open, new life to come.

Our disappointed expectations can hold us captive when life skewed a different direction that we imagined, when God did not come through in the way we anticipated. But when we surrender our thoughts for his, releasing disappointment to his greater wisdom, He can come with fresh winds of hope and buoy our expectations once again. Often we need this “reset” from the Lord because we have expected life to be depriving, leaving us shamed and underprivileged. We have anticipated by apprehension and dread rather than hope in the One who keeps us. Then we make life choices that confirm those underlying beliefs, letting the tyranny of past pain lay claim to us. Our expectations become a habit, a settled sense that things won’t work out well, separating us from the consciousness of God’s love and presence.

But everything of His love and resurrection power belong to us. We can choose to position ourselves, like the beggar who waited at the Beautiful Gate, to live in expectation that He will come and bring all we need. Activating our expectations, our posture then is to direct all the fulfillment of them up towards God, the One faithful to every promise. So let’s position ourselves to be apprentices of new expectations, learning new heart habits of hope, joy and anticipation knowing we are undergirded by the faithful One.

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