Expectation: Looking forward to a future event with at least some reason to believe the event will happen. Expectation differs from hope. Hope originates in desire, and may exist with little or no ground of belief that the desired event will arrive. Webster 1828.
Most often our expectations are predetermined with a fixed outcome, usually based on, even limited to, what we know or have experienced. A defined outcome. Holding onto them can overwhelm us, influence our behavior and attitudes and alter how we see and respond.
Where as, hope allows growth, desires good for another, gives room to change, or is defined by a predetermined known. Hope is not limited by previous experience. We can hope for something better than we know and it won’t die when it is unmet immediately. Hope helps us to keep moving forward. Hope fills us with life.
Hebrews chapter 11 begins with the definition of faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the certainty of things not seen. What follows in this chapter is a list of biblical heroes that did not see the determined outcome but hoped in what was beyond. They believed what would be, because it could be, through Christ Jesus our Lord.
When the disciples we’re losing hope and began to despair Jesus said:
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me. In my father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” John 14:1-4
Let’s face it, even the criminal that was crucified beside Christ had a hope that he could be remembered in a life beyond this one. He said to Jesus, “When you get to your kingdom remember me.” He had a hope built on a desire to be remembered. We know through the holy scriptures that his desired hope was more than fulfilled. It was exceedingly and abundantly more answered. He would be with Jesus in paradise.
Yes, live expectantly, purposefully, intentionally but anchor it in in hopefulness. The hope of the implanted word spoke of in James 1:21 that was birthed in our hearts.
Jesus is our Lord and savior, our only salvation, our only hope.
Folks, It’s one thing to exit this life knowing this hope, but it’s powerfully life changing to live in the hope of Jesus now. Don’t exist, LIVE.
Grace to you all as we look for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our savior Jesus Christ.
Pat Propster is pastor at Calvary Chapel Carson City.