Expectations can set up a pattern for what happens in your life
Do you have high expectations for your life?
As singles, we don't have the advantage of a spouse to encourage us and help us correct our course from time to time. If you've met with a string of disappointments, you may have become pessimistic about your life and your prospects.
But by doing something as simple as changing your expectations, you can actually change the direction your life is heading. That sounds like a preposterous, name-it-and-claim-it type statement, but it's based on two sound biblical principles. First, God is in control, and second, we reap what we sow, especially in the area of our thoughts.
Too much to ask?
When your prayers seem to go unanswered, you may start to believe that God isn't listening or that you've fallen out of his favor. In a calm, more rational time, you know in your heart that that's just not true. God may be giving you something very different from what you asked for, or he may be setting things in motion for his perfect timing.
Looking back on my own life, I have often breathed a sigh of relief when I saw (in hindsight) that God helped me "dodge a bullet" that would have brought me much pain and bitterness.
Is it too much to expect, then, for God to provide you with a Christian spouse or help you prosper in your career? Scripture makes it unmistakably clear that God does desire strong, Christian marriages. And we learn from the life of Joseph that God delights in helping his followers in their careers--as long as those careers honor God's principles.
In several other places on inspiration-for-singles, you'll read that we each have a part to play in our own happiness and that God has a part, too. If you pray for a spouse then sit home watching TV every night, you're not doing your part. You have to take some responsibility and some initiative. Changing your expectations will help you do that.
But back to the subject of pessimism. Several times during my life, following a series of tough struggles, I developed a mindset that I was a bad luck kind of guy and that nothing good was ever going to happen to me. And, for many years it didn't. Or that's what I thought. Fortunately God help me climb out of that rut of negativity. At some point I grasped this important truth:
if you start expecting them.
It's not a matter of magic, wishful thinking, or any kind of law of attraction. It's the pure, plain, powerful love of God for his people.
An exciting way to live
We take so much for granted, from our sight and hearing to our job and our family. But a strange thing happens when you start to express your gratitude to God for even the smallest of blessings in your life. He showers you with more.
What an exciting way to live--to wake up in the morning expecting God to bless you with some wonderful surprise during the day! You notice that food takes on a richer, more vibrant flavor. Colors and shapes pop out at you. Your vision is remarkably sharp. You notice things you hardly saw before. Your life becomes one surprise-filled day after another.
You expect good things, and when they come, you feel personally touched by God's goodness. For the first time in a long time, your life starts to turn around. You have hope.
Looking for the good
You have hope and faith in God...that he's leading up to something astonishing. You love him more strongly, you worship him more passionately. You begin to do things you thought you couldn't do. You look for the good and start to see the good. You understand, as I did, that your perception of being a bad luck person was only that: a perception.
Sometimes bad things still happen to you, but now you've changed. You expect good things to more than compensate for them, and they do.
Today, right now, start a new habit of being a goodness inspector in your own life. Never let one good thing slip by unnoticed. Expect them, watch for them, and praise God for them each time they happen. Realize that God loves you so much that he has changed your expectations and