Have you ever approached something, whether it be a person or an event, with a bad attitude? Before you even get there you are already thinking, “This is going to be the worst experience of my life.” Or, “This is going to be a terrible thing; I’m not looking forward to this at all.” Our perspective determines our outcome.
I would challenge you with this question, “What do you expect of God?”
People today look around the world—we see lots of things that are going on. We see violence and we see hunger, homelessness and families going through terrible times. We see people not treating each other well. Often when I watch the news, all I expect to see are scenes of the sinfulness of humanity.
Many years ago a study examined two groups of students. When one group did well, observers affirmed the fact that they were A students—they’re exceptional, they’re extraordinary. When the other group didn’t do so well, comments included “I knew it.”
I believe our perspective determines not only our outcome, but perhaps how we approach things and how we might predetermine an outcome because of our expectations. And as we perceive things so will we affirm those perceptions.
In the book of Acts, chapter 12, Paul is in prison, shackled. Verse 5 says that people were earnestly praying to God to set him free. The chapter goes on to say suddenly an angel wakes up Peter and the chains fall off. The angel says, “Quick, get out of here.” And it’s a wonderful thing—God moved right at this moment. Paul’s chains were knocked off, and he quietly escapes the prison, slips down to the house of Mary, the mother of John, where they were praying for him.
Rhoda, a servant, comes to the door and says, “It’s Peter,” and goes to tell those praying. They respond, “You’re crazy…it must be his angel.” Peter kept knocking; they did not expect Peter to show up. Yet, in their prayer, they were praying for God to release him from prison. So, they were shocked when it happened. Perhaps today, you might take a look at how you view things. What perspective have you already made? What is it that you should look at differently?
Alan McGinnis in his book, “Bringing Out The Best in People,” suggests this very thing, that if we expect the best in those around us, that is what we will see. I’m going to carry that a bit further. If we expect, and we know, that we have a mighty God who is in control of all things, who loves us infinitely, who cares for our simple desires, who loves to see us love him in return, what would that mean? If we expect to see God move and do mighty things, then we will look for them. And when we see those things, we will affirm who God is and our expectations.
Perhaps today you haven’t had that attitude or that perspective. Today, I would challenge you to expect the best from God. Expect the best and you will see the best in him and he will affirm it by blessing you.
May that be true. And perhaps, may we even apply it to our family, to our friends, to our home and to our workplace, that we would represent God in a way that people would expect to see Jesus when they see us.
When I look into Your Holiness
When I gaze into Your loveliness
When all things that surround become shadows in the light of you.
When I’ve found the joy of reaching Your heart
When my will becomes enthroned in Your love
When all things that surround become shadows in the light of You.
I worship You!
May God bless you.
- Pick a Scripture study to follow this week and read one part each day for the next four days. On the fifth day, send it to someone you think would also benefit from it.
- See how you can get involved in the Fight for Good at westernusa.salvationarmy.org.
- Did you know The Salvation Army served more than 23 million Americans last year fighting hunger, homelessness, substance abuse and more—all in a fight for good? Where can you help? Take our quiz to find your cause and learn how you can join in today.