Expectation and Resentment

Expectation and Resentment

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven . . . a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance . . . Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

My family enjoys superhero movies, so, a while back, we watched the next film in a series, expecting it to be as entertaining as the previous installments. It was a bomb, and we were thoroughly disappointed. Of course, we had to see the bomb’s sequel and expecting nothing, we ended up loving it.

Looking back, it is difficult to understand our movie experience without the cloud of our expectations. Our initial expectation led to resentment when we didn’t get what we wanted. When we realized the second film didn’t owe us anything though, we found it wonderful.

I do this with God. In my self-addicted state, I mistake my desires for God’s will and I imagine that his purpose is to please me. Then, because the world does not revolve around me, my expectations turn to resentments when life disappoints.

Today’s passage promises that our existence is not all birth, laughter, and dancing. Life often goes very differently than we think it should. We all encounter trials and death finds us all. To dust all return (Ecclesiastes 3:20). It is the pinnacle of our self-absorption to think that God owes us what we want. To speak of God as owing us anything is to prepare for profound resentment and unhappiness.

Still, God is love and we can depend on him to keep his promises. We can believe that we are his children and that he loves us (I John 3:1). We know that he desires – and will deliver – ultimate good for us, whether we see it today or not (Romans 8:28). We can know God and find supernatural peace and eternal life in him, here and now (John 17:3, Philippians 4:7). When we seek God, we find him (Matthew 7:7) and he is the only one who can save us from ourselves (Romans 7:24-25).

Expecting that God will grant our every wish leads only to resentment and disappointment. Believing in his promises and following him however, leads to life, joy and peace.


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  1. Rob says:

    AMEN Scott – this reminds me of the posts I get (strangely enough from my sister in PA) telling me that if I pass this post on I’m guarenteed a miracle, or 3or 4 !!!!! Family …………………!


  2. Susan says:

    I agree. When I look at myself, I think what God should do or what I need. God wrote my book before I was born and knows what’s best. My desires not always line up with God. This is a great reminder.

    • Scott says:

      Thanks Sue. Faith is hard for that reason, right? We’re supposed to believe even when it makes no sense to us. There are some questions that we don’t get answered. Your right though. When I accept that God knows all, from beginning to end, it makes much more sense to follow his will.

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