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This is a time of year of great expectations perhaps you are eagerly awaiting gifts on Christmas Day, expecting all things you asked for. 
The truth is though that expectations aren’t reserved just for Christmas. We have expectations all the time, they can be good, they can be bad.
We have expectations for how our life may turn out. We have expectations of how all manner of things are going to turn out.
Throughout history people have had expectations of God.
Christmas Day for those of us who are Christians is primarily about celebrating the birth of Christ, something the Israelites had been expecting for a long time.

I wonder what the three wise men were expecting as they travelled to Bethlem to find the Messiah, were they expecting to find the Messiah in a palace? After all they had told King Herod, they were looking for the King of the Jews.

Luke 3:15 records people wondering if John the Baptist may be the Messiah

Luke 3:15
15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah.

He wasn’t and later in Luke John the Baptist sends some of his disciples to Jesus to ask if He is the Messiah

Luke 7:18-19
18 John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, 19 he sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”

You must wonder, did Jesus meet the expectations of the Israelites, where they expecting the Messiah to come in and overturn the Roman Empire? 

I wonder if like us now in the 21st Century the 1st Century had expectations about how Jesus, how the Messiah should behave. Many of us have expectations of God based on what we want, and what we feel.
That can be the problem with expectations, then tend to come about through the filter of us. We have an idea of what something should be like, how something should turn out, how someone should behave, and it doesn’t always turn out the way we expect.
So, when it comes to God there are a few things that we can expect:
When things aren’t going as we expected Romans 8:28 says that God works in all things for good. Bad times won’t be wasted. We heard a few weeks ago a word from a visitor at our church saying that if you are going through times it won’t be wasted, when you come through those difficult times you will be able to help someone else who is going through those hard times.

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

If we ask God (pray to God) and it is according to His will we can trust that it will be done:

1 John 5:14-15
14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

So, when we pray and expect God to do whatever we ask, we must ask is this something God would want to do. Sometimes we pray things and expect God to answer when they go against his will or that ultimately will be bad for us, even if we can’t see it.

Eugene Paterson, author of The Message translation of the bible said the following:

“Jesus does not always meet our expectations, does not always give what we ask for or what we think we need. When he doesn’t, we feel let down, deflated, disappointed, or we surf to another channel on the TV, or we try another church that will hopefully give us what we ask for.”

When we don’t get what we expect we can throw a huff and walk away, and that is the wrong thing to do. Knowing Jesus is about eternity not only about the here and now. Just because we don’t get what we expect doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

We can and are expected to trust in God.

Psalm 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

We can expect God to be our refuge

Nahum 1:7
7 The Lord is good,
a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him.

There is one caveat to being expectant and that can be found in 

Luke 12:40
40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

We will look at want it means to be ready in the next blog post.  

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