by Linda Cox

My day took a nosedive when I learned that my monthly retirement check would most likely be cut in half. So much for the expectation that my former employer would keep the promises made to retirees. My initial reaction was anger followed quickly by fear at the financial implications.

Eventually the Lord drew my thoughts back to Him. And to the beautiful old hymn, In the Cross of Christ I Glory. A phrase that had always “popped out” at me whenever I sang the hymn did so again, right now when I needed it—“hopes deceive and fears annoy.”

My hope, my expectation for retirement benefits had certainly deceived me, resulting in fear of the future. But fear shouldn’t control me—or anyone. It shouldn’t paralyze or destroy us. If anything, it should only annoy us, like a fly buzzing around our heads. And we can swat that fear away with the flyswatter of God’s Word. Psalm 62:5-8 in the Amplified Version is a good place to start:

My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him;

for my hope and expectation are from Him.

He only is my Rock and my Salvation;

He is my Defense and my Fortress, I shall not be moved. …

Trust in, lean on, rely on, and have confidence in Him at all times …

When our expectations are placed in a person or a job or money or the government, we are bound to be disappointed because all of these are part of the fallen, sinful world we live in. There is only one place where our expectations should rest and that is in Christ.

The hymn, as well as the verses from Psalm 62, remind us that the cross of Christ will never forsake us. When we place our hope, our expectations in Him—the One who conquered death that we might live—we can rest peacefully in His promises. And experience His joy no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in.

Now that’s what I call a great expectation.

Linda Cox is a regular contributor to DivineDetour. She recently retired after twenty-five years as a district office secretary for the State of Illinois. Her first loves are studying the Bible and reading, but Linda occasionally tries her hand at writing. Her work is published in All My Bad Habits I Learned from Grandpa (Thomas Nelson), The One-Year Life Verse Devotional (Tyndale), Life Lessons from Grandparents (Write Integrity) and the Love Is a Verb devotional (Bethany House). She and her husband live on a farm with their two indoor/outdoor farm mutts.