Are You in a State of Expectation?

Karen Del Tatto

Contributing Writer
Published Feb 29, 2024
Are You in a State of Expectation?

We can’t help but find Him if we look with expectation.

When you wake up in the morning, do you greet the day expecting the worst or expecting the best? If you’re like me, it depends on the plan for the day. A day filled with a daunting to-do list can invoke thoughts of, “I’ll never be able to get all of this done!” A day scheduled for family fun or time with friends generates excitement to greet the day and all that it will hold. 

But what if no matter what the plans for the day are, whether seemingly stressful or the best day ever, we live in a state of expectation of what God can/will do for us?

The Google dictionary defines expectation as a belief that someone will or should achieve something.

As believers, that “Someone” is our Heavenly Father and His Word tells us that “He goes before us and is with us, He will never leave us or forsake us” (Deuteronomy 31:6-8), “He has ordered our steps” (Psalm 37:23), and “He will do above and beyond what we hoped or imagined” (Ephesians 3:20). The Lord is our Provider in the bad days and the good days. That provision will look a little different in each case, but it will be God’s provision nonetheless.

Let’s test our “expectation quotient” in each of the following categories and where necessary, find ways to boost our expectation of God:

Are You in a State of Expectation through Prayer?

The way we communicate with our Lord and Savior is through prayer, but I wonder, do we pray with expectation of what our Savior can do for us?  Do we even remember Him in terms of being our Savior when we pray?  Let me explain.   Of course, we know that Jesus is our Savior, but is it at the forefront of our minds on the daily or in prayer?  When we pray, we usually begin with “Dear Lord” or “Dear Heavenly Father” and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but I think we become so focused on the title of Lord and Father, that we forget that He is our Savior not just at our conversion, but every minute of every day.

When you look up the word "savior" online, outside of the biblical definition, it lists similar words that I think can add further insight into how we should approach God in prayer:

Rescuer: Many prayers to the Lord are in the form of “Help me!” As our Rescuer, Jesus is in the business of helping us at all times. We can pray will full expectation because His Word provides these promises:

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1

"Our soul has waited for the LORD. He is our help and our shield." Psalm 33:20

Liberator: Some of us may find ourselves in bondage whether it be to an addictive substance, a besetting sin, or a struggle with worry. We can pray in full expectation to be released from our bondage because God has given us the following promises:

“Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.” Psalm 118:56

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

You might say, "Karen, I know these Bible verses, but it’s still not easy to pray with expectation because many of my prayers have gone unanswered." Believe me, I have felt the same way and can still feel that way, but after last year and all my health “scares,” the only way I could “survive” was to pray with the expectation that God would answer my prayers one way or another, and He did! In some areas, I was blessed with complete healing, but in other areas, I was not. But God… He has met me in the “unhealing” with His strength, peace, and comfort.  I am stronger for it because God’s strength and peace live in me. Had I not prayed with expectation, I would not have been able to see the “unhealing” as answered prayer too.

The Lord asks us to test Him in things. I believe that when we pray boldly and with expectation, He will answer, whether it be by providing help to get through the trial, releasing us from bondage (whatever that looks like), supporting us in the circumstance, or answering exactly how we asked.  No matter what, we will see God’s goodness however He chooses to answer.

"In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation." Psalm 5:3

Are You in a State of Expectation when You Seek Him? 

Don’t you wish that Jesus could just walk into your house and tell you exactly what you need to do when you are at a crossroads? It may be whether to take a job or not. It could be whether to leave a job or not. It might be whether you have “found the one.” The list goes on. However, the next best thing to Jesus walking into your house and telling you to your face is seeking Him in prayer.

"Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:12-13

A few years ago, not wanting to rely on myself, I sought the Lord with full expectation that He would give me clarity on a decision that I needed to make regarding whether to leave a job I loved or whether to stay in an environment that had grown toxic and mean-spirited. I didn’t trust myself to make that decision because I loved the job so much and our finances required the extra money the job provided. But I continued to seek the Lord with the expectation that He would work things out, even though I had no idea how He would.  

I felt that I received confirmation to leave the job and was actually the first of many to make that move. I didn’t have another job in place and had no other financial means. Very soon after making that decision, out of the blue, my husband was asked if he would be interested in going through the process of being voted in as Associate Pastor at our church, and he was! The amount of money he would receive as Associate Pastor was the exact amount I was making in the job I had left. And now, as a pastor’s wife, I was able to use the gifts the Lord had given me to serve in our women’s ministry.   

The moral of the story is this: when you pray with the expectation that God will provide, not only does He provide, but He provides above and beyond what you hoped or imagined!

“Our God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20

Are You in a State of Expectation throughout Your Day?

Recently, I was reading in Luke 3 about John the Baptist’s ministry and was struck by the following verse:

"Now while the people were in a state of expectation, all were wondering in their hearts about John, as to whether He was the Christ." Luke 3:15

As I pondered this, I thought to myself, What if I lived in a state of expectation, looking for Christ throughout my day? Some people call them “God winks” and others call them “God sightings.”

What if we went about our days expecting to see God in everything we did, everything we saw, everything we experienced? I believe it would change our perspective to view life through an eternal lens, not a lens that perceives everything with a negative bent. Let’s face it, many of our days can be “rinse and repeat” experiences. We may find our day-to-day activities rote, boring, mundane, stressful, etc. Pick your adjective.  

Yet, going about our day expecting to see God in everything would shift our mindset from ourselves and place our thoughts squarely on looking for God and ultimately finding Him.

"There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." Ephesians 4:4-6

The Lord is over all, through all, and in all. We can’t help but find Him if we look with expectation.

This year, I set one of my intentions to keep a gratitude journal and to live in the present moment. I am also trying to turn what I perceive as a negative situation around on its head by putting a positive spin on it, placing my expectation on what God is doing.

This past weekend we went to a wedding. When we got there, I was happy to see we were assigned to sit with people from our church. My smile turned to a frown when I realized that our table was upstairs and we couldn’t really get a view of any of the wedding festivities downstairs. Even if we stood up and looked over the balcony, the beams blocked everyone’s heads. I admit that I was grumbling in my head. I joked with the woman sitting next to me who seemed just as disappointed as I was with our seating arrangement and said, “At least we were nominated.”  

But as the night went on, I started to turn my frown upside down and saw all the benefits of being upstairs. The bridal party introductions happened right in front of us as they went down the stairs; we could see the dancing from above, which was a neat view; the conversation at our table was enjoyable and we all had a lot in common; we weren’t dealing with having to yell to talk because the music was downstairs and we had a great waitress! When my expectations shifted to seeing God’s goodness in what I originally perceived as a disappointment, I found myself grateful for our evening.

May we live in a state of expectation for all that God can and will do through prayer, when we seek Him throughout our day.

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/coffeekai

Karen Del Tatto is a blogger, author, women's ministry leader, pastor's wife, mom, and grandmother who is passionate about the Word of God. Her blog Growing Together in Grace and Knowledge and her books Choosing to Trust God: Breaking the Habit of Worry, A 30-Day Devotional and Choosing to Trust God Companion Journal reveal her heart for providing Biblical insights to encourage women to grow in and through their struggles while equipping them to overcome. Karen and her husband live in Rhode Island and enjoy walks in the woods, owling, and spending time with their grandchildren.