I often find myself, or hear others using the phrase: “Don’t get your hopes up” or “don’t expect to much.” A lot of times, hope can not only help to motivate and push one to anticipate something with excitement, but hope can also let us down when we expect something that doesn’t happen, or blows up before our eyes. However, I really don’t want to focus on the gloomy side of hope and expectations.
I remember a few years ago while in college, around my sophomore/junior year to give a rough time period, I found myself at odds with my faith and what I believed as a person. I know that most people hit a period in their life where nothing makes sense, and their vision of life and existence seems blurry and dissatisfying. We all fall into that position in life (if you haven’t or dont think you will then please fly away to some foreign planet), and it seems that there is no end or resolution in sight. However, I eventually worked my way out of it by practicing one simple thing, Expecting and hoping for clarity.
If you don’t expect change, if you don’t expect peace, or promise, or safety, or guidance, or deliverance, or what have you, then how do you hope to find your way, or to conquer situations and goals? It is impossible.
I have found, more recently, that I expect God to show up, I expect him to use me in ways which I have no control over. I expect him to show me direction, and paths that lead me to doors that he will open.
At church, I play on my worship team every weekend, and as I was going through this spiritual crisis I continued to play on the worship team, and I will admit that for that stretch of time, my weekends were quite stale and full of hassle as I had no desire or ambition to participate on the team. I found that each weekend was more about me getting through the set so I could get home and watch hockey, or go to the mall or whatever. I didn’t care because quite frankly, I didn’t feel God, I didn’t feel loved, and I was frustrated at where my faith had landed me. However, I never had learned to hope. I know that sounds weird but, because I knew what hope was, I had hoped for things in the past like, getting a girlfriend; I had hoped that the Sabres would win the Stanley Cup, stuff like that. But, I firmly believe that to truly hope is to firmly believe and expect the desired outcome and know that it will happen.
This is been a significant learning curve for me and more recently I have found myself closer and more in tune with how God moves, and how he uses people, and how he changes people. I spend every weekend playing worship songs, but not only playing, but engaging prior to and during worship. I know go to church expecting God to use our worship to move people, and to motivate them to change and to progress in faith. I have experienced some of the most intimate and intensely life changing service these past six month, and I get to see it all unfold in the congregation which is before me. God uses me to play songs that move people, but in turn, God uses the reaction and receptions of the congregation to move us that are leading. Its a revolving cycle that surrounds us all in the church during those services.
Expect God to move, Expect to be changed and you will find out what hope is all about.