Don Shenton - Expectations - 1990

Psalm 42:5, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? Why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God.” The enemy and our own thoughts would cause us to be disheartened, disquieted, discontented, and eventually destroyed. To avoid disappointment, to avoid discouragement, to avoid depression or despair, have the right EXPECTATION.


What do we have the right to expect from others?  Isn’t it quite reasonable to at least expect honesty? It would be wonderful if we could expect this. But really, all we have the right to is God and His promises, which are sure. If we expect more, we leave ourselves open for disappointment and then Satan can move in and he will affect our spirit and actions.


Psalm 62:5, “Wait thou only on God.”  Jeremiah 29:11.  He knows what He is doing and we can trust Him. He will give us an expected end. God will never disappoint us. We can place our expectation in Him.


WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT OF THE UNSAVED? Expect nothing. David almost got into trouble by expecting too much of ungodly Nabal. Sometimes, we might expect something of our neighbors. David had an expectation and it got him into trouble. The story is in I Samuel 25. In the wilderness, they were in close contact with Nabal’s shepherds and sheep. David was kind to them.  It was in his heart to be kind to others. Then one day, David and his men were hungry. Because he had been kind to that man, he expected kindness in return. But Nabal was not a godly man and he refused. David got angry and wanted to punish them. Nabal’s wife interceded and kept David from doing wrong. Luke 6:35, “For God is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” It is right to do right like David did in being kind, but it is wrong to expect something in return. It gets us into trouble. If we are expecting something from others we will always be discontented. We will be discontent if we expect others to live up to our conscience and we will be godless if we only live up to others’ conscience. Don’t look for an example, be one.


Then SURELY WE CAN EXPECT SOMETHING FROM OUR RELATIVES. What do you expect of your relatives? Expect nothing. Luke 12:13, “Master, speak to my brother..” Did Jesus?  No. It is easy to expect things of our relatives and lose sight of the important thing - being rich toward God. This man felt he was not getting his fair share of an inheritance. He thought Jesus would want to see his relatives treating him right. He wanted Jesus to talk with his brother. Jesus told him, “A man’s life does not consist of the abundance of his possessions." Be on your guard against all kinds of greed. Regardless of whether things external are as right as they should be, keep a right spirit and in that spirit you can do the most to help right the situation when it is of eternal consequences to the Kingdom. We never have a right to a wrong spirit towards others. Feeling we have rights gets us into trouble.

Surely, then we can EXPECT SOMETHING FROM OUR BRETHERN IN CHRIST. What do you expect of your professing friends? Expect nothing. The best man God had became sarcastic, because of how much he expected from his friends.  Job was the best. God could trust him. Then hardships came. His friends came to visit him and Job fell into a snare. He thought he could expect sympathy and understanding from his friends (Job 6:14). They didn’t give it to him, so he became critical and sarcastic (Job 12:2). Job even resorted to defending himself. Never defend yourself. If you are right, you don’t need to and if you are wrong, you have no right to. It is not so important what people say about me because of Truth, but it is important what people say about the Truth because of me. When we allow an expectation, we leave ourselves open to trouble and we can get others into trouble. Job’s friends used human arguments and reasonings and it brought out a human response in Job. God later taught Job to pray for his friends, rather than expect of them.


Finally, WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO EXPECT SOMETHING FROM OURSELVES. What do you expect of your flesh? Expect nothing. Maybe I am like Peter; he said, “I am ready to go to death.” (Luke 22:33) Peter expected too much of Peter, because soon, he denied Jesus. Peter on the last night of Jesus’ life, faced tests. Peter said he would never forsake Jesus. He expected something from himself. He had to experience failure to realize he couldn’t put trust in himself. We have no right to expect anything, but we can do all things through Christ.


To have the right expectation, remember Psalm 62:5, “My soul, wait thou ONLY upon God; for my expectation is from Him.” WE CAN EXPECT ANYTHING WITH GOD because with Him are all things possible. (Matthew 19:26) We can draw strength from God and so can others, as we walk humble before Him. 

In Jeremiah 29:11, God is saying, “Trust ME, I will give you an expected end.”