Growing up, I was taught not to expect things from God. After all, He doesn’t owe me anything. I could ask Him for things, but I couldn’t demand them or even expect that He would give them to me. My prayer life mostly consisted of me saying, “God, if this is your will, please let [insert thing here] happen.” And that was the end of it.
But I think that in reality, Christians can—and should—expect certain things from God. I think that if we did, we could live out our faith in a much more powerful way. Expecting things from God doesn’t mean we make demands of Him or try to pressure Him into giving us certain things. It means we take Him at His word and trust that when He promises us something, we can live our lives as if that thing is going to happen, even if we can’t see it.
At my church, we are currently doing a series called “Don’t Be Afraid.” This Sunday, my pastor, Bro. Will Harmon, urged us to live without fear and instead depend on God’s promises. This is something that all Christians need to take to heart. When we’re depending on God’s promises, we can expect that God is going to do certain things for us and live with those things as realities in our lives. Here are just a few of them.
He will always love us.
As Christians, we should expect God to love us unconditionally. Not because we deserve it, but because He promised us that He would. Romans 8:38–39 tells us, “For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, hostile powers, height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!” God’s love for us is unfailing, and it is in no way tied to anything we have done or ever could do. He loves us. We can expect that He is always going to love us. If we as Christians would live our lives with that expectation, we would be free from the fear of failing God or of ever being unloved.
He will always provide our needs.
We worry so much about our basic needs. We stress out about working hard enough to make enough money to pay the bills so that we can do it all over again next month. God doesn’t want us to live like that. Jesus Himself said in Matthew 6:31–33, “So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” If we’re seeking God first, He’ll take care of our basic needs. We don’t have to stress about those things because the One who created everything can and will provide for us. If we live with the expectation that God is going to take of our needs, we can shift our focus from taking care of ourselves to wholly seeking Him.
He will always be with us.
I remember as a kid every time I went on a church trip, we would say a prayer before we left. And every time, the person praying would say, “Lord, please be with us as we go to [insert place here].” I’m not saying that’s a bad thing to pray for. I’m just saying it’s something that we can always expect from God. Hebrews 13:5 tells us, “He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’” No matter where we go, God is with us. We can depend on that. We can expect that. We don’t have to sit around and wonder whether or not God will be with us if we go to such-and-such place. We can just go and expect that He’s going to be with us. How much more bold and brave would Christians be if we truly expected that God would be with us no matter where we went? How far could we go in His name if we just expected Him to go with us?
These are just a few of the many things that we can and should expect from God. He doesn’t mind that we expect them from Him. In fact, He gave us these so promises that we would live our lives in full expectation that He is going to fulfill them. We don’t need evidence beforehand to know that God’s going to keep His promises. He’s shown Himself to be true throughout the centuries. Let’s just take Him at His word, expect that He’s going to do what He said He would do, and live our lives as if His word is true.