July 17, 2018

Great Expectations

July 17, 2018


Psalm 142
Acts 23:12-35
This weekend’s reading: Matthew 14:22-32


Today’s passage from Acts reads like an action movie — complete with intrigue, a plotted assassination and an escape by night under military protection. What was it about Paul that made him so dangerous to the religious establishment in Jerusalem? He was proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ to an audience that wasn’t ready to hear what he was saying. The Jewish leaders were expecting a political messiah — one that would liberate them from Roman oppression. God sent a spiritual messiah to liberate us from the oppression of sin and death. That’s not what they wanted to hear or what they had in mind.

There have been times in my life when I was expecting God to answer my prayers in a certain way, and when he didn’t, I was a little bit grumpy about it. My focus was on MY expectations, not God’s provision, and when they weren’t met, I felt God had let me down. Rather than boxing God in with our own small-minded expectations, let’s learn to trust that his ways are more far-reaching and better than we can imagine.


  • Is there an area in your life where you need to let go of your expectations and focus on looking for God’s provision?
  • What helps you practice patience and trust when you’re not sure of the outcome?


  • Talk to an adult about what an “expectation” is. What are some expectations you have in your life?
  • Talk to God about your expectations and ask him to help you trust him even if things don’t turn out exactly like you want.

Lord, we know we often try to box you in and want you to conform to how we expect things to be. Help us cultivate trust in you that allows you to work in your powerful and creative ways in our lives. Amen.