As I was preparing to write this post about what I’m expecting from God this year and reminding myself of His promises, I stumbled across the perfect verse that sort of captured a little from each of the 5 areas I came up with. Ironically enough, this one verse became my life verse 6 years ago. I bought a candle holder with the verse on it that sits in my bedroom. This verse is also the signature to my emails. Somehow it seems like I’ve become numb to the power of the words in it because they’ve become so familiar to me, but as I prepared this post, the Lord gave me fresh eyes and spoke life into these words again. Definitely my life verse.
So when do I most need to have an expectant heart? The answer is any time my heart tries to deceive me with lies or doubts, in my hard places, so this post requires some vulnerability and transparency from me as I share with you, and I’m learning that’s okay, that’s good.
Here are 5 things I’m expecting from God this year:
1. To bring me peace when I feel anxious.
The Lord blesses [His people] with peace. Psalm 29:11
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. John 14:27
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. Ecc. 11:10
I’ve been battling anxiety on and off for a couple of years now, and I’m often tempted to look to other sources, mainly people, for my peace and comfort. When I feel anxiety taking my heart captive, I will go to God first, cling to His word, and I will choose to have an expectant heart. God promises peace; I will expect it. I’ve experienced His peace that surpasses understanding during my seasons of grief, I will expect to experience His peace during the times I experience anxiety.
2. To sustain me and give me strength when I feel weak and tired.
The Lord gives His people strength. Psalm 29:11
I will sustain you. Isaiah 46:4
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26
As a mommy of littles, and often times as the only physically present parent because their Army daddy is off for training or a deployed, I’m often left feeling tired and drained, physically, mentally, emotionally. When I am, I will be reminded of the Lord’s promises (there are so many verses on strength I can hold on to). He will give me His strength and sustain me in those times I feel I have nothing left to give or those times I’m physically exhausted. I also choose, and have chosen over the years, not to rely on caffeine or other substances to do this for me. They are not needed for things the Lord himself promises to provide. I will also understand, there may be times where I am tired, physically, mentally, emotionally due to illness or other trials because after all I am human and my heart and flesh will fail, but God will not. God’s strength will come to me when I need it and how I need it, whether physical, mental, emotional. In having an expectant heart, I hope to see His fulfillment of His promises here and not miss them by focusing on my own plans.
3. To give me hope and remind me that hopelessness is a liar.
We have the hope as an anchor for the soul. A hope both sure and steadfast. Hebrews 6:19
She holds onto hope, for He is forever faithful. 1 Cor. 1:9
I recently read a quote by Beth Moore that said “hopelessness is a liar.” Those 4 words were literally life changing for me. So often times in the past 6 years for me, situations have seemed hopeless. I have battled and battled it, and so often times given in to it. Giving into hopelessness robs us of so much, of our joy, our purpose, our life. When our daughter was diagnosed with a fatal disorder; her situation felt hopeless by definition. Or even in the past year, hopelessness has knocked on my door as I have wrestled with our family’s call to be in the Army.The sacrifices required by Army life have taken their toll on me, my marriage, and our family at times. Hopelessness likes to butt its ugly head in and tell me that certain aspects of this lifestyle will never get better, that it’s simply going to demand and take more and more, to feed me lies that leave me feeling hopeless. Well hopelessness is a liar. There is no place for it in our lives. It is a nice tool of Satan’s to steal and destroy, both in the present and in the future. I refuse to listen to the lies hopelessness tells, and I will choose to listen to God’s promises of hope instead. I will expect Him to give me hope.
4. To be my confidence.
After your season of suffering, God in all His grace will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10
God is within her, she will not fail. Psalm 46:5
I’ve never been a very confident person. To be a vulnerable person has always been a struggle of mine because of this lack of confidence. The seasons of loss and grief I’ve been through turned me more inward to myself at times, attacking my sense of purpose and confidence more. However, I know this is not how God calls me to live. I cannot utilize my talents this way (read my post about that here). Like the verse above so perfectly puts it, I’ve walked through my season of suffering, I’m ready for God in all His grace to restore me and establish me. I’m ready to walk boldly, with a confidence, to be who Christ made me to be, to use the gifts He’s given me. When I feel myself doubting myself or tempted to fear what’s going on around me, I will be confident in the Lord, in His love, in His sovereignty, in His plans, in who He made me to be. I will expect Him to establish me, to be my confidence.
5. To carry me, be with me, and go before me.
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deut. 31:8
I will never leave you. Hebrews 13:5
Whatever comes my way this year, I’m going to remind myself that God’s got me. He’s got this. He goes with me, He goes before me. He never leaves me. He never forsakes me. I am never alone in this, in anything. No matter how tempted I am to feel alone (because boy Army life can be isolating, stay-at-home-mom life can be isolating) I will be reminded that I’m not. He is with me always. He’s shown me these truths before, and I know them personally already to be true. But I need a constant reminder. No matter what happens this year, what trials come, what suffering comes, what doesn’t go according to my plan for myself, for our family, I will hold steadfast to God’s word and expect God to have it because He does and He goes before me.
These are 5 of my weak places, my hard places, places I am choosing to approach with an expectant heart this year. What are your hard places? The places you need God to fill in the gap for you, to fulfill His promises in your life. What can you expect from God this year? How can you live with an expectant heart this year? Together let’s expect God to fulfill His word in our lives and lean on Him in our hard places in 2016. Comment and share with me!