WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 03, 2023
TOPIC: ALWAYS HAVE POSITIVE EXPECTATIONS
BY T. O. BANSO
“For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says” (Mark 11:23 New King James Version).
One of the things you must do to improve your quality of life is to always have positive expectations. Some people are negative thinkers. They always expect negative things to happen even in the best of times. Such people are only digging their own graves. They are their worst enemies because, by their negative thinking and expectation of bad things, they destroy themselves and, perhaps, others in relationships with them.
Always have positive expectations. This does not mean that you should be idle or fold your arms and have positive expectations in a vacuum. It means that after you have done all that you are supposed to do, have positive expectations. For example, if you have prepared very well for an examination or interview, prayed to God for success, and did your best during the examination or interview, have an expectation of a positive outcome. You cannot do more than you can do! Do your best and leave the rest to God. God will take care of the rest.
Have positive expectations about your spouse, children, family, business, career, or ministry. Discharge your responsibilities well and pray to God, then expect positive outcomes. There are things that you can do and there are things that only God can do. Do what you can do and believe God to do what you cannot do. This is the essence of prayer. Prayer brings about divine intervention and participation.
Unfortunately, some people diligently do what they are supposed to do and pray to God for help but still have negative expectations. That shows they have no faith in God to help them. It shows they only pray for praying sake. They don’t expect God to answer their prayers. This should not be. It is a waste of time. Don’t pray to God and still have negative expectations.
Jesus said, “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says” (Mark 11:23 New King James Version). Jesus was teaching His disciples faith in this scripture. Faith is having positive expectations. If you command the mountain to be removed, but you don’t expect it to be removed, it means you don’t have a positive expectation; you have a negative expectation.
Jesus continued in verse 24: “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (New King James Version). Those who have positive expectations are not surprised that God answers their prayers; they trust God to answer because He has promised to and thank Him before and when the answers come. They are rather surprised if the outcome is contrary to what they prayed for. Nevertheless, they do not lose their faith in God because they know that He has their best interest at heart and will ultimately work everything in their favour. David said, “You will judge in my favor, because you know what is right” (Psalm 17:2 Today’s English Version).
Always have positive expectations in good and bad times. Daniel 2:21a says God changes the times and the seasons. When things don’t appear to be going the way you had expected, never stop having positive expectations. Sometimes after you have done all that you are supposed to do, including praying, you may get some outcomes contrary to your expectations. Nevertheless, keep having positive expectations. God is in charge and He will work all things together for your good. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 New King James Version).
Jesus told His disciples to have faith in God (Mark 11:22). God can make a way where there seems to be no way. He makes a way in the sea and a path through the mighty waters (Isaiah 43:16). He dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep, and made the depths of the sea a road for the redeemed to cross over (Isaiah 51:10).
He can save when all hope of being saved is lost. Talking about Paul’s voyage to Rome, Luke said in Acts 27:20 that when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, everyone on the ship finally gave up all hope of being saved. Although they had a shipwreck, God saved all the 276 people on board because of Paul.
Are you sick and you have prayed or have been prayed for and receiving medical attention? Have positive expectations of healing. Believe that you will not die. “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD” (Psalm 118:17 New King James Version). Doctors have told some people before to put their houses in order because they would soon die but God intervened and they lived more years after. Have positive expectations.
As a child of God, always have positive expectations. You are not alone; God is with you. He is interested in your well-being. His thoughts toward you are thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11)
After you have prayed or as you continue to pray about any situation you are facing, have positive expectations. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:7-12 New King James Version).
But make sure you ask God in faith. Don’t ask with wrong motives (James 4:3). Ask according to the will of God. “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15 New King James Version).
Have positive expectations about your spouse, children, family, business, career, ministry, and so on. Don’t quit on God. Even if a door is shut against you or closes, continue to have positive expectations. God can reopen the door or open another door for you. It will turn out as a testimony for you (Luke 21:13). “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name” (Revelations 3:8 New King James Version).
Always have positive expectations in all situations. Your expectation shall not be cut off (Proverbs 23:18; 24:14).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to always have positive expectations. My expectations will not be contrary to my prayers in Jesus’ name. Father, I hand over to you everything that is beyond my control. Cause everything to work together for my good, for I love you and I am called according to Your purpose. My expectations shall not be cut off in Jesus’ name.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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