August 25, 2015

When You Have Great Expectations

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 25, 2015

Guest Writer: Meet my friend Shana Schutte. We are blessed to have her as our guest writer.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

One of my good friends often says, “Never put a period where God puts a comma.” It’s her way of reminding herself to stay flexible to God’s rule and to submit to His sovereignty over her life. This can be especially difficult when we’ve got big plans or hopes that have led to great expectations.

Expectations can be awesome. They have the potential to bring us great joy when fulfilled and focused energy when we need to complete a particular task. They also have the potential to usher in great disappointment when they are dashed. It’s then that we must remember to “never put a period where God puts a comma.” We must submit to His will if we want to live with joy. To continue to demand our way only leads to internal death.

“For the wages of sin is death. . .” (Romans 6:23)

There have been times in my life when my expectations haven’t lined up with God’s will: when I wanted to marry a particular young man, when I wanted to move to a particular state, when I wanted to receive a particular job offer. I have to admit there have been times when I have wanted to shut down hope, silence expectations, and never dream again when the pain of unfulfilled expectations pierced my heart. But a better way is to surrender to Christ in faith.

Surrender doesn’t mean giving up; it means giving in. It means giving Him control. We put our plans in His hands as we work. We give Him our children as we raise them. We surrender the outcome of our job search as we look. And, when things don’t go as we planned, we do not live as those who have no hope and become cynical and tell themselves, “Don’t dream because you’ll just be disappointed.” No, we remember that God has a plan—and it’s always a good plan—even if it’s not our plan.

“Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; And let them say among the nations, ‘The LORD reigns.”’ (1 Chronicles 16:31)

Prayer:  “Lord, I trust you. Please help me to always live with hope. Your ways are higher than mine and I submit to your Lordship in hope because you are good and you love me. Amen”

Related Readings: Isaiah 55:9; Proverbs 16:9; 2 Chronicles 20:6; Zechariah 4:6

Post/Tweet this today: Surrender isn’t about giving up; it’s about giving in. #WisdomHunters #GreatExpectations

If you would like to read more from Shana, you’re invited to download her free, Devotional, 30 Days of Hope.

Additional Resource: 4 minute music video- 4 minutes- Gaithers: Angels in the Room

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  1. Winter says:

    This is a very difficult concept for me. I have had a lot of pain in my life. ultimately due to my choices I ended up in a mental home 3 times and attempted suicide twice. To me, life has been barren. I have no hope to dream since all dreams have led nowhere for me. HOW would i even BEGIN to revive hope? and for what do I even dream ? If God has meant in His plan for my life to be this barren even now, how do I even think to seek anything from Him? shouldnt I just let things happen and whatever will be, will be? I am writing to find some hope and some answers. I havent found any.

  2. Gwynne says:

    Dear Winter,
    Thank you for reaching out to us after reading “When You Have Great Expectations”. I have to tell you, I read over your comments a few times and then, prayed. My heart was hurting as I read your words so, I went to our Heavenly Father. HE, of course, knows your story and I REJOICE in the fact HE LOVES YOU and is there for you every step of the way.
    I cannot begin to answer your questions, but HE can. The answers are in His Word and in the quiet moments you share with just Him. He is the God of second chances and “wrote the book on hope”.
    “How do I begin to revive hope?” by seeking Him out.

    “Then you will call upon 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 of your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and will bring you back from captivity.” Jeremiah 29:12-14

    You asked “If God has meant for His plan in my life to be this barren even now, how do I even think to seek anything from Him?. Winter, I can’t know what God plans are for you. Our creator, Our Father, the Author of our story, is the only one who knows. But what I do know and TRUST is His Word, and I find great hope in it and you can, too.
    Your Creator knew about you and had plans for you even before you were born! How incredible is that?

    “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
    I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was made in the secret place.
    When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.
    All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
    Psalm 139: 13-16

    In this devotional Shana stated, “Surrender doesn’t mean giving up; it means giving in. It means giving Him control”. I felt like that was a good reminder for all of us in the family of God. Not necessarily an easy thing to do, giving up control and surrendering, but HE waits for us to do just that.

    In Matthew 11:29-30 Jesus promises rest for our souls when He says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

    Winter, we are thankful for you and look forward to hearing from you again as you continue on your journey of hope with Him. If you would like to continue our conversation (I would love that) please email me at

    One last thing,
    I thought the prayer at the end of the devotional could have been written for your eyes to see (He does that, you know…)
    “Lord, I trust you. Please help me to live with hope. Your ways are higher than mine and I submit to your Lordship in hope because You are good and You love me. Amen.”

    Believing and trusting~
    Your sister in Christ

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