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Notes of Dr. Joy by Dr. Joy Staley

"They that wait upon the Lord (to hope with expectation) shall renew their strength." Isaiah 40:31a​

​In this coming New Year, most of us are searching for more energy. This well-known verse gives us the answer: To hope with expectation on the Lord will gain us new strength.

Practically speaking, during the holidays do you find yourself picking up expectations of relatives, spouses, parents or children: The underpinnings of many negative emotions, such as jealousy, hurt, disappointment, and rejection, are from expecting our needs to be met by others. Pretend with me that you put all your negative emotions in a paper cup with the bottom labeled "expectation." If you empty your "cup of expectation," then you are now free of all those negative possibilities, especially disappointment. But you do not want an empty cup or you may be tempted to load it will the world's filler: success, power, alcohol, busyness or another person; just for starters. Instead, pack your empty cup to fullness with hope from the Lord, leaving your needs in His hands. Whatever others do for you will be an added blessing, a luxury. Your expected blessing comes from Him.

​One quick example may help. If I am expecting all my children to be home for holidays, I will be angry, hurt or disappointed when one child does not come or the weather flares up like this last Christmas and changes all of our family plans.  By applying the principle and emptying my cup of all expectations of each child, I then dip into the well of God's resources and ask the Living Water (Jesus) to make Christmas what He wants for me. I surrender to His will. What a peace and hope I have waiting upon Him to create this holiday!

This principle works for any situation in which you find yourself drowning in that cup of expectations.
Lord, teach me to wait;
for You are my Hope and Expectation.