Advent: The Journey to Christmas, Day 16

The Business Of Exceeding Expectations

Because of prophecy, the Jewish people had anticipated a savior for centuries, and they were expecting a royal king who’d set them free and establish an earthy kingdom. Imagine their surprise and disbelief when they were told their savior was born to a common family in a manager in Bethlehem, the lowliest of places in a lowly town. What the Jewish people got did not meet their expectations.

But God isn’t in the business of meeting expectations. He’s in the business of blowing them out of the water. Jesus is an incredible example of God’s exceeding goodness. Through Jesus, God met needs the Jewish people didn’t even realize they had. He provided much more than the fleeting prosperity of an earthly kingdom. He established His eternal kingdom, provided salvation, reconciled humans to right relationship with God, and brought hope to a broken world.

How often do we place our expectations on God, assuming He’ll work according to our timeline and plan? This habit isn’t great for our faith because God rarely moves on our schedule, and His answers rarely match what we envision.

We need to understand the difference between placing our expectations on God versus trusting in His plan and being expectant that He will see it through to completion in our lives. Placing our expectations on God can set us up for disappointment, frustration, resentment when they go unmet, but having a healthy expectancy of God can feed our faith.

What desire had God placed in your heart? This Christmas, find comfort in knowing that God wants to do more than meet your expectations. He wants to exceed them. Take heart in the fact that God can do far more than we can even think to ask of Him. Expect God to move, trust His process, and watch your faith grow.

Prayer: Father, thank You for the reminder I have in Jesus that You are graciously meeting needs I don’t even know I have. This Christmas, I pray for confidence in what I hope for but cannot see yet. Help my faith in Your faithfulness increase. Thank You for being the God who exceeds expectations. Your timing is perfect, and Your plan is best. Have Your way in my life!

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole empire should be registered. This first registration took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So everyone went to be registered, each to his own town.
Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David, to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped him tightly in cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

Luke 2:1-7 CSB

Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.

Hebrews 11:1 CSB

Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us

Ephesians 3:20 CSB

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