Managing your expectations by faith
When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, Look at us! So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. – Acts 3:3-5.
Talking about faith without talking about expectation would be like telling the story of Jack without the Jill. The expectation that accompanies an act of faith it must be said plays an important part that cannot be simply ignored and as such, there is the need to explore it further.
To start with ‘Expectation’ is defined as ‘An act or the state of expecting’. Another definition simply puts it as ‘The degree of probability that something will occur’. To be expectant is to be in a state that anticipates that something is going to happen, it is to be in a state of preparedness brought about by an event whether - good or bad- that is going to happen. While the exact time of the anticipated event may or may not be known, the act of expectation maintains a state that entertains a high probability of certainty that what is anticipated is going to take place. As matter of fact expectation is driven by this certainty, the certainty that something is on the way, that something is about to happen or a change is about to take place.
While this definition helps us to set the tone for this exposition, there still remains the need to bring to the fore how expectation help produce an effective faith. The truth is both (faith and expectation) complement each other in many ways, you see faith that is not accompanied by expectation is no faith at all. Let me try to explain what I mean, everyone who is a believer believes that Christ is going to come back again, but it can be said that for many they are not expectant of him coming soon, even for some their claim that they believe he is coming back, can be questioned based on the lack of expectation on their part. How do I know that they are not in expectant mode? Well for the fact that they do not live as those who are expecting him to come back soon, you see Jesus gave explicit instructions about how to live in anticipation of his second coming. He used to the parable of the 10 virgins to highlight the difference between those who live in state of expectation or preparedness and those who do not. He also uses many other parables to show how those who live in expectation of his return should live (Mathew 24). So also did the fathers of the early church.:
But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none, those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, - 1 Corinthians 7:28 – 29.
You see expectation remains one of the means by which we can truly validate what we profess about our faith and whatever beliefs arising from it. Just like Apostle James said in James 2:20, that faith without works is a dead faith, it can also be argued that faith devoid of any expectation is equally dead. You may be wondering why, well this is what we want to explore through this exposition.
The question at this time is, which of the two (faith and expectation) ought to come first, faith or expectation, the truth is either can come first, but I will caution that we need to allow our expectations to always be motivated and nurtured by faith. You see the truth of the matter is that expectation will always give you something, but whether it is something good or bad is what we cannot tell. Whether it is what you expect or not, is what we cannot tell. You see, expectation will always produce a result there is no doubt about that, what is open to scrutiny is what manner of results would come forth from such an expectation. You may ask, what do you mean? I will use a couple of examples to clarify my position.