Expectation is all about knowing or anticipating something will happen. For example, when you get up in the morning for school, the expectation is that you’ll come home with homework. It doesn’t always work out that way, but most of the time it does.
Well, we’re supposed to have expectations of God, too.
“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” —Mark 11:24
According to what Jesus says in this verse in Mark (paralleled in Matthew 21:22), if we believe that we have received what we ask for in prayer, then it will be granted to us. That phrase “you have received” is past tense; it means that it’s been done for us already.
This verse tells Christians to have the expectation that as soon as God hears our prayers, He begins to put things in place to answer those prayers and to grant us the things we’ve requested. The keys to this are faith and expectation, and they go hand in hand.
We need to have faith that God is who He says He is, and that He can and will do what He has said He’ll do. When we have faith that God will do what He has said, then we behave as though we are expecting God to answer our prayers. Then our prayers are no longer simply words we direct to the ceiling—they are powerful enough to move the heart of God.
Even if God answers our prayers in an unexpected way, we still need to expect Him to answer. One way to cultivate this faith and expectation is to begin thanking God for answering our prayers even before we see the answer. The Bible tells us that Jesus said if we believe that we have [already] received, then those things will be granted to us.
This is incredibly difficult for us because we tend to only believe we’ve received those things we can see with our eyes. This requires that we believe we’ve received things that we can’t see or touch yet. We can’t look up a postal or UPS tracking code for them. We simply have to believe that God will do what He promised.
The reason we don’t usually see this promise fulfilled is because it’s so hard for us to maintain this kind of belief for very long. We begin to feel foolish if we keep believing that we’ve received something that hasn’t arrived yet, but God’s timing isn’t the same as ours. We need to start practicing believing for longer periods, no matter how silly it might make us look or feel. Don’t you wonder what kind of miracles you might see God do, if only you could hold on to your belief just a little bit longer? I do.
So girls, I want to encourage you today, whatever thing you’ve asked God for, try hard to believe, like Jesus said, that you’ve already received it, thank Him for those things until you see them accomplished and see what miraculous things God does in your life.
“Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” —John 14:13-14
Girls, what’s the most recent prayer you’ve seen God answer for you?
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