Embracing an Attitude of Expectation

5 Mins read

When you’re asking God to do something in your life, do you really expect it to happen? When you live with an attitude of expectancy, it changes your outlook on life. Instead of living with a fear of what you’re asking for doesn’t happen, you wait for it to come to pass. We know that faith is one of the most important aspects of living a life that’s pleasing to God. However, it’s important to let that faith change us from an attitude of fear to an attitude of expectation.

You have to decide what kind of attitude you’re going to have every day. If we’re being honest, all of us have “woken up on the wrong side of the bed” a time or two in our lives. Sometimes you wake up feeling angry, frustrated, and just plain grumpy. When you start out your day with a bad attitude, it makes it hard to get anything done at work. Moreover, you’re probably short-tempered with the people in your life.

Conversely, some days you just wake up feeling good. When you’ve gotten a good night’s sleep, you have a good hair day, and traffic isn’t bad on your way to the office, it’s easy to get to work, treat your coworkers kindly, and get through a productive day.

What you may not realize is that your attitude every day is a choice. You can say, “I woke up on the wrong side of the bed,” but the fact is that on those days, you chose to have a bad attitude. Similarly, on those days where everything seems to be going well, you’ve opted for a good attitude.

As a child of God, there is another kind of attitude that you can choose to adopt: an attitude of expectation. All of us have things in our lives that we’re asking God to do. When you ask God to do something, do you really expect it to happen? That is an attitude of expectancy.

If you haven’t been living with an attitude of expectation, today can be a changing day in your life. When you allow yourself to walk around in an attitude of expectancy, you will see the miraculous work of God in your life. Let the Holy Spirit take you from fear to expectancy today.

It Doesn’t Matter What the Crowd Says

Genesis 7:1 (ESV)
Then the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation.

One of the earliest examples of expectancy that we see in Scripture is the familiar story of Noah and his ark. Scripture teaches us several things about society at that point which make what Noah did even more amazing. First of all, it had never rained. Up until this point, the earth was watered by a dewlike mist that rose out of the ground (Genesis 2:5-6). The Bible also teaches us that God had decided to destroy the earth with a flood because people were so wicked and refused to acknowledge God (Genesis 6:5). What does all of that mean in relation to expectancy?

It means that people probably thought Noah was crazy when he started building a boat. First of all, Noah was an old man when construction began. Can you imagine what it looked like when an old man started building a boat? It had never rained! How was that thing supposed to float?

It’s safe to assume that the people who refused to acknowledge God had plenty to say about the “crazy old man” building a boat. Noah didn’t let that stop him. Why? Because he truly expected God to do exactly what God said he was going to do.

God may never tell you to build a giant boat and gather all the animals in preparation for a storm. That doesn’t mean that God doesn’t make promises to His people today. When you know that God has promised you something, hold onto that promise, no matter what the naysayers may try to tell you. Expect God to do exactly what He said He would do.

The Relationship Between Attitude and Focus

Philippians 4:8-9 (TPT)
Keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always. Put into practice the example of all that you have heard from me or seen in my life and the God of peace will be with you in all things.

Let’s revisit the example that we discussed earlier about starting out the day with a good attitude or a bad attitude. While it’s easy to blame the things that happen at the onset of the day for the quality of our day, those events aren’t really to blame. Instead, it’s about how much we choose to focus on them. Take a moment and think about the last time you had what you classified as a “bad day” at work. Was the entire day bad, or did a singular negative event take place?

Let’s assume that you work in a retail facility. It’s no secret that customers can be demanding and rude at times. Did a negative customer interaction cause you to have a bad day? If so, that OK to admit. However, it may be that you didn’t have a bad day, but rather that you had a bad moment.

Our attitude is directly tied to our focus. Those “bad days” that we have because our morning got off to a rocky start are likely due to the fact that we spend all day focusing on the negative feelings from the morning. When traffic is bad and you’re running late for work, you may feel frantic all day at work because you’re focused on how hard the morning commute was.

Follow Paul’s advice and evaluate what you’re truly focused on. Is your mind on things that are authentic, real, honorable, admirable, beautiful, respectful, pure, holy, merciful, and kind? If not, try shifting your focus today. Doing so will lead to an attitude of expectancy because you will be more in tune with what God is saying to you and about you.

Patient Expectation

James 1:2-4 (TPT)
My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties, see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up in you the power of endurance. And then as your endurance grows even stronger, it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.

You may think that expectation and patience are polar opposites. After all, if you’re expecting something to happen, you’re probably expecting it to happen right now. Why wouldn’t you? We live in a society of instant gratification. We carry phones that can provide information with a couple clicks, we eat meals that are passed through a drive through window already prepared, and we stream whatever TV show we want to watch the minute we want to see it. When we want something, we want it right now.

While The Passion Translation uses the word “endurance,” other translations say “patience” in this passage from James. An attitude of expectancy in relation to the things of God is rooted in patience. That’s because you expect God to do what He said, but you also know that He’s going to do it in His perfect timing.

There are no shortcuts to success, and there are no shortcuts to the promises of God. When you truly have an attitude of expectancy, you have faith that God’s timing is perfect, as is His plan for you.

A Closing Prayer:

Heavenly Father, help me shift my attitude from one of trepidation to one of expectancy. Help me to focus on the things that please You so I can be more in tune with what You’re doing in my life. Most of all, give me patience in the time of waiting. In Christ’s name, Amen.

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