Gratitude is a key to fuel our….expectations!

God gave me a word for this year, an overarching theme for 2023 which is… ‘expectancy’. I came to Him every day from New Year’s Day to ask Him what my word would be. On the 11th Jan I felt Him say the word expectancy which made me laugh as I realised I had been coming every day with expectancy to hear my word, and to be honest was a little confused as to why I hadn’t heard. I have been doing this for several years now and normally I hear Him pretty quickly for the year ahead. I understood in that moment that He was even in my expectant waiting doing something in me to be His more expectant daughter, knowing that He never disappoints.

Expectation as a believer looks like living with the anticipation of God’s blessings in our lives at every turn.

A little back story for context at this point is probably helpful. So because of a series of life and personal events that happened on the run up to Christmas, (see previous post for one of the biggies) I had being feeling flat. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t expectant for what God could do or that my appetite for Him to move was less but I just flat and feeling less than my usual, joy filled self. However this all changed on the 9th Jan when I got touched by the Holy Spirit in our pre-match prayer at church. I was hosting that morning and got so filled with joy before the meeting I was on the floor laughing. It had been a while since this had happened, I’m normally quick to joy but hadn’t experienced this for a while so it felt so timely and just what I needed. Then fast track to the 11th and God gave me the word about expectancy.

I am currently feeling so excited (like a champagne bottle about to pop if I’m honest) about this expectancy word and how it will play out across the year and all that it carries. I will unpack it through the year and share here on the blog and on my social media accounts for shorter, hopefully inspiring posts about what God is doing. (Links to social media below).

So back to what I felt God talking to me about today…

As I woke this am I was inspired through something I read and felt God start talking to me about the significance of our gratitude.

If we we take time daily to thank God for all we see Him do in our lives, our hearts start to fill to overflowing with gratitude. Once we look with expectancy of seeing good we start to really notice the way God has been moving to work all things for good.

Rom 8.:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose

His goodness may be evident in the big things but more often I find it’s in the little things, that mount up to form a picture of a life that is lovingly crafted with rich golden seams of God’s goodness running through it.

When we practise daily gratitude it leads us to praise Him and this turns to worship and we are fuelling our expectations for Him to come and do it again and even to expect it in greater measure.

It becomes like a cycle in our lives, like an ever turning water wheel that brings life as His living waters run through us.

Eph 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,

As we daily look for His hand working in our lives to reveal His goodness it becomes like a self fulfilling prophecy, the more we notice, the more we see, the more we notice etc.

A self fulfilling prophecy is: prediction that comes true at least in part as a result of a person’s or group of persons’ belief or expectation that said prediction would come true.

I am not for one minute suggesting we start making predictions by the way, but just illustrating the point. So if I anticipate that as I look for God’s goodness in my life I will see it at work because I am expecting it to happen, then I will start to see Gods goodness in my life and my expectation to see it goes up and I start to see it more and on and on.

I can live with expectancy and with this confidence because He is a faithful God who never lies and He says in His word He has good plans for my life.

Jer 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

It could be easy to look at someone else’s life and think well that’s all right for them to be so happy they’re having a lovely time, but the truth is we all have things to go through and overcome but how we choose to view the obstacles before us changes everything.

Our mindset is key (always in every situation) and as I have written about before when we look to see how God is moving in the midst of a trial it really does help us navigate said trial. When we see how God is working for our good it gives us confidence He is in it with us and raises our hope levels that the outcome will work for our good as He ultimately is in control and has the bigger picture of our lives and what we actually need vs us and what we think we need or want. It turns out they can be quite different!

The thing is God tells us in His word to expect trials of one type or another in this life we get to live. But He wanted to let us know in advance about this so that we would know that we could find peace in Him because He has overcome the world and He will bring us through every hardship we go through by being right there with us in any storm and that none are too big for our God.

Seeing God in the midst of a tough season can be hard, but if we have built up a practice of daily gratitude and looking for where He’s working it really does make the going easier. Also being able to look back at a trial season can be extremely uplifting as you start to see where God has spared you from things that could have been so much worse. Sometimes it can be as simple as seeing what might have been, but for God’s hand moving in your life.

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

So as we move through the year I encourage you to use gratitude as a key to raise expectancy of God’s goodness to be evident in your life and let’s get excited about what a good, good Father He is. Let us be those who have expectancy for God to come and bring healing, set people free, draw people to Him and change the world we live in as we partner with Him in our daily lives.

I am reminded of the quote that:

Your life may be the only bible some people will ever read.

Our expectations determine our reality and they impact the people around us. How we think and act is so important and people can be so quick to see us going through stuff and how we seem to have fallen into despair and say unhelpful things like, “but I thought your God was good?” Or they can look and see us going through stuff but see that somehow we are still full of faith with hope levels unexpectedly high and living fully expectant that God will come through for us.

We always get a choice how we respond to the situations and circumstances of our lives and I want to be one that makes people think, surely there must be a God!

Links to social media:

Photo cred: Kevin Butz

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s