As a teenager, I used to say "No expectations, no disappointments". My parents would express their frustration in hearing me say such things to which I would shirk and continue on about my business. To be frank, I was not in a good place mentally during this time of my life. I was definitely guiding myself through a range of changes, stress and pressures that I was not accustomed to. Efforts were made by may parents to help me out in these situations but at that time, they were not the people that I wanted such support from.
After I made a series of healthy decisions, the greatest being to be vulnerable before God and to truly put my faith in Him, I realised that my statement about my expectations had to go.
I finally found myself saying "God, I give up trying to do this my way as I always come up hungry; never fully satisfied with the outcome. Please, I feel torn and tired. I long for the good things that Your Word says are stored up for me. Give me direction!".
God poured out His love upon me like I had never experienced before and challenged me that day with a question. "Will you fix your expectations?"
"Now faith is a confidence in things we have hoped for and an assurance in what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1
Without my expectations being high, my faith was dry/not apparent.
I did not choose to put my faith in the things unseen because I did not feel I had the emotional energy to raise such expectations. I was struggling to smile at the people I loved.
But God changed all of that.
Now I find myself with an amazingly beautiful and inspirational wife, three gorgeous children that melt my heart when they show me their love for God and leading a church that continues to blow my mind in how they prioritise God in their lives and foster that in the lives of others. I never pictured all of this on that day, but I chose to raise the bar in my life and be done with the lies that I had been sold about my self-worth. That day back in 2006, and the following weeks changed my life.
Today can be that day for you.
2015 is yours to make of it as you will.
I've found that God's will is something that I have become accustomed to, and it comes with peace and joy as opposed to the stress and pressure that came about from my own.
If you can dream it, He can dream it bigger!
Raise your expectations and let your faith grow, grow, grow!!!
Senior Pastor at Eternity Church.