Waiting in Expectation


In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” – Psalm 5:3

Our life is a journey filled with expectations.

Expectations of where we’re headed…what’s around the corner…how God will provide along the way.

While we can’t know exactly what lies ahead, the very act of moving forward compels us to wonder what we will face.

Each day, we have our schedules and make our plans. Woven into those plans are expectations for the outcome. We run ideas through our minds of how things will go, hoping for the best.

But what happens when those things don’t turn out according to our plan?

One such time happened last year. After my husband awoke from a coma, the muscles in his throat were too weak to swallow. The only way he could get food was through a tube in his nose. Following a week of therapy, he was to have another test. Oh, how I had been praying that God would give him the ability to swallow again! The Lord had blessed him over and over, and I expected this time to be no different. I was so confident that God’s glory would be seen in David’s ability to swallow and eat again that very day.

But instead, David had failed the test. No food, no water, no ice chips for at least another four to six weeks! It was a hard blow, as if someone had punched me in the stomach. I was devastated. And my spirit was crushed.

I was so sure. What happened? Why did it turn out this way? Where did I go wrong in my thinking?

Bottom line? My expectations were misguided. My focus was on my desired outcome, my timing, and my wisdom. Instead, my focus should have been on the Lord’s sovereign will, His perfect timing, and His infinite wisdom. I should have trusted in His love and grace and His promise to work out everything for our good and for His glory. I should not have determined in my mind what the outcome was to be.

Psalm 5:3 says we are to lay our requests before the Lord and “wait in expectation.” But how and what we expect makes all the difference.

Psalm 5.3

If we follow our own expectation, the result will be discouragement, fear, grumbling, and questioning God.

If we follow biblical expectation, the result will be peace, security, thankfulness, and honoring God.

Biblical expectation is birthed in prayerIt begins as we lay our requests before the Lord, asking for His help and provision.

       Expectation is a product of prayer.

Biblical expectation grows from a heart that seeks to know GOD. It comes from remembering that His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are so much greater than ours. God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Eph. 3:20-21). God is sovereign, and there are facets and unknowns that our minds cannot comprehend.

       A heart that seeks God is an expectant heart.

Biblical expectation embraces waiting. God is working in our times of waiting. We may not see what He is doing, but He is working behind-the-scenes to bring about His plan and will. We must trust in His perfect timing and embrace the waiting.

       Waiting in expectation is easier when we expect the waiting.

Biblical expectation requires trusting in God. We must trust His unfailing love and mercy. We must trust His power and desire to work everything out for our good and for His glory.

       We rest in God when we trust in God.

Biblical expectation leaves the outcome up to the Lord. Our expectation should not include determining in our minds what the outcome will be. That is for God alone to know.

       God answers His way…in His will…in His time…for His glory.

Four weeks following that swallow test, my husband was back for another one. This time, however, my heart was focused on God’s will and His purposes. While I once again prayed that David would pass the test and be able to eat normally, I didn’t have any preconceived outcome in mind this time. I simply went with hope in my heart and trust in the Lord. I was full of peace, knowing that whatever the test would show, God was at work and His glory would be seen. (By God’s sweet grace, David passed this test and began eating again.)

Dearest Father, when we are faced with challenges and difficulties on this road of life, help us to remember to seek You with all our hearts. And as we lay our requests before You, may we trust You and wait in biblical expectation for Your answer, Your guidance, and Your deliverance…for Your glory! In Jesus’ name, Amen.


All Scripture from New International Version of the Bible, 1984.
Photo by Sabra Penley.




Filed under Attitude, Expectation, God's Purpose, God's Timing, God's Works, Hope, Peace, Prayer, Thankfulness, Waiting

15 responses to “Waiting in Expectation

  1. kristine

    This really spoke to my heart today, Sabra. I’ve been waiting since Oct. to get some resolution over a hip injury that has caused a lot of pain and questions. I am finally seeing a surgeon on April 8th, but oh the waiting! Thank you for the words of encouragement. My expectation is in the Lord!


    • Precious Lord, fill Kristine with your peace and joy as she seeks relief and healing from this hip injury. Lead the surgeon to find the right treatment that will alleviate the pain and bring complete healing. As she trusts in Your will and Your timing, may her soul be at rest. Kristine, I am always so humbled when the Lord uses the words from this blog to speak to the heart of someone else. He is truly an amazing God! I’ll keep this prayer request on my list. Thank you for sharing!


  2. Beautiful thought and insight. Truly the Holy Spirit is with you as you write and provide His guidance. I am so thankful that David is progressing.


  3. Your insight about expectations is very timely for me. I have been struggling with expectations in a relationship and this is exactly where I have gone wrong – not having biblical expectations but rather my own. Thanks for this beautiful post.


    • I’ve been there so many times I can’t count them. I’m thankful for how the Lord speaks to us through His Word and encouragement from each other. Thank you, Marsha.


  4. juleslef

    Sabra, God’s blessings to you and your husband. Beautiful writing! I agree with Kristine about the waiting. That is the hardest for me. Thank you for sharing your story. God is encouraging others through you!


  5. This is a beautiful post full of wisdom, Sabra. I’m going to have to read it again to absorb it, especially the llast paragraphs. I like your point about putting our expectations IN GOD and not in the desired outcome.


  6. Pingback: When God Says “No” | Simply.

  7. Byron

    Please pray for my mother my name is Byron Matthews Please Please pray that God heals my mother …. she has a swelling in the brain


    • Thank you for sharing this prayer request, Byron. Precious Lord, we lift up Byron’s mother to you. You know everything that is wrong. Give her doctors wisdom in how to treat her and make her body respond well to the treatment. Heal her completely, Father. Give peace to Byron, his mom, and his family as they go through this time and let them feel Your constant presence with them. Wrap them up in Your loving arms. In Jesus’ name, Amen. Byron, please keep us updated on her condition. We will keep praying. Blessings to you.


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