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Singing Psalm 34 you release expectations

Singing Psalm 34 you release expectations

release expectations

What follows when God breaks your heart?

He resets it, redirects it, and from its overflow, you find a new will, new words, and new ways to approach life.

You find hopes and dreams surfacing and flowing that you could not have imagined before. You become ready to receive something better than you knew once you release expectations.

Singing Psalm 34 can help you release expectations and move you to cry out to the Lord who hears, remakes, sustains, carries, rescues you—who is with you.

“To broken hearts the LORD is near,     To save the contrite He’ll appear.” ~ Psalm 34:18

When in the frame of a lowly and contrite heart, you release expectations based on fear, troubled memories, and even from hopes and dreams that just won’t pass the test of time.

Singing Psalm 34 you release expectations that fear the future

release expectations

How can Charlie Brown, you, or I release expectations that fear the future?

When things don’t go your way, simply put one foot in front of the other and continue to do good. Do whatever good you can find to do, the good that God has prepared in advance for you to do until he calls you home.

It’s not a one time decision but dynamic. You release expectations one minute, take them back, embrace them tight before you even realize it, and you come to Jesus for help to release expectations again. It’s part of what draws you to him, clueing you in to your moment-by-moment need for him.

This is not a one and done where you stand victorious and proud on your own strength. This is a continual battle where you constantly see your need to surrender your stubborn independence and fully depend on God, what humans were created to do.

Once that dependence and face-to-face fellowship was broken, the result was death-first for humans and then for God to redeem humans and restore that dependence and face-to-face fellowship. The Lord Jesus exceeded all expectations so you could release expectations that don’t lead you to trust and depend on him.

You might find new and creative ways to assert your independence. As new as it may seem, it always leads to the same old end: separation and death.

Any time you hear of mass shootings, murders, wars, or of anyone young, old, or in between dying, know that death came about because proper human dependence on God who created them and had fellowship with them was broken in the garden of Eden before which time there was no such thing as death.

The triune God made us in such a way that we must be dependent upon him in order to live. It is vital. It is so vital that he made a way to redeem his people to bring them back to himself in glorious, merciful, joyful dependence. Jesus took our death and gave us his life that put death to death for those who come to him in trust.

That alone ought to be motivation enough to release expectations for independence from him and to do whatever it takes to go to him to have that proper, dependent relationship with God restored.

If I am not connected to him in this way, living for Christ in such a way that my death is gain that leads to eternal life, my fate is like the branch that is not connected to the vine. I wither and die an eternal death and separation from the one I was created to be united with but never can be if I reject the only possible lifeline that he freely provides for me by his grace and mercy.

“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.” ~ Hebrews 10:26-27

I can think of skills I acquired when my heart was as self-centered and self-focused as it could be. Decades later, the Lord gives me opportunities to use those very skills to bless his people. 

He is glorified in the mercy that he shows by redeeming every ugly and rotten thing in me. I can release expectations to get and get for myself, for my own good, because he exceeds them every time teaching the truth that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

You are kindest to yourself when you can forget yourself, release expectations of what it will take for you to be happy, and find ways to meaningfully give to someone else, to be kind to someone else.

The Lord your God will set you free from not just some but all your fears. He does this by whatever means he chooses resulting in your freedom from fear and ossified memories that cement your vision.

You think you need to know things that you don’t. Rather than seeking to know those things, seek the Lord and wait on his answer.

As long as your eyes are on what people can do for you, your fears will ebb and flow with the level of trust you place in them.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.” ~ Matthew 7:24-25

When you trust in the Lord alone, you learn to live life as an unknown, joyful adventure. With peace, you release expectations, and wait on God’s clear direction. Although you let go of control, you are anchored even in the midst of raging storms.

Singing Psalm 34 you release expectations as past troubles come to mind

release expectations

How can you release expectations as past troubles present themselves as if they will always be with you?

It is most difficult to release expectations when you set your mind to do the right thing and as a result are met with trial upon trial. It seems as if the trouble will never come to an end.

If the Lord hadn’t been with Joseph resetting his expectations to wait on God, he would not have been ready to receive what the Lord had for him when the time came. He would have been stewing bitterly, unwilling to release expectations, and therefore unprepared for the Lord to exceed them to such an extraordinary degree, greater than most could ask or imagine.

Like Joseph, you must reserve judgment and wait on the Lord to resolve the matter in his own way and in his own time.

Jonah found out the hard way that to not release expectations is to be blind to what the Lord intends to do in your life and in the world.

He can save better than you can think. The trouble will come to an end.

"Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” ~ 1 Peter 4:19

“The LORD on just men keeps his eyes;     His ears are open to their cries. Though righteous men great troubles see,     The LORD from all will set them free. ” ~ Psalm 34:15,19

“How radiant, those who looked to Him!     Their faces free from shame shall be. The Lord heard when this poor man cried,     And from all trouble set him free.

“The righteous cried; the LORD gave heed,     And then from all their troubles freed.” ~ Psalm 34:5-6, 17

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” ~ Matthew 5:10

God’s love does not ensure you from trouble, but it does ensure that he will be with you in it all and deliver you from it all. The Lord your God will set you free from all your troubles.

Take your sorrow and cares to Jesus. Mourn and weep before him, and you will be comforted. Go it alone and you sink alienated in depression. Rely on man and you are disappointed. Even the best of men and women cannot carry your burdens perfectly. Go to the one who can.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16:33

Your going to Jesus to wait well is imperative to live well and to die well. Ask the Lord to help you go to him and wait for him. God will indeed help you to release expectations that cause you trouble and will reset them to turn your focus onto him. And that will bring you peace.

Singing Psalm 34 you release expectations from short-sighted hopes and dreams

release expectations

Why would you want to release expectations of some hopes and dreams?

Hopes and dreams that are planted in this world are fleeting at best and tantalizingly torturous at worst.

When you learn who God is from listening to his Word preached and from reading, listening, and meditating on his Word on your own and with others, you release expectations because you know you can trust in his faithfulness, goodness, and his unsurpassed ability to protect you, meet your needs, and meet the needs of all his people.

This is how Jesus can meaningfully direct you not to worry because your Heavenly Father knows your needs better than you do. He cares and is able to meet them.

You never have to worry about losing your treasure again because the triune God is your treasure and promises to never leave you! Instead of using God and loving money, you learn to love God and use money as a gift from him, as a means to meet your needs and the needs of others.

Unless you learn to release expectations for yourself, you are set on what you expect to happen (and when) and are easily disappointed.

You can expect the Lord to reward your seeking him in the very best of ways, though you will not sense his rewards every moment. But because you trust him to be good for it just the same, your heavy burden is lightened. Your perspective shifts from caged to free, from old to new.

The Lord your God will set you free from all your hopes and dreams that attach you to covet the world and disconnect you from your destiny to love.

Yes, you can be trapped even by your hopes and dreams as you try to navigate your way through conflicting messages like, “be a team player” and “prove your worth.”

These messages are mutually exclusive in themselves but when the Lord builds the team and helps you release expectations to be who he made you to be, they can actually go together. As you do the good he prepared for you to do, he makes you worthy to help the team.

What the Lord offers you is better by far than all you have come to expect in life. You release expectations when you release control over the days, hours, minutes, and down to the seconds of your life.

Raw competition does little good for the soul. But the Holy Spirit can even use competition to grow your soul and help you love your neighbor. If your hopes and dreams revolved around being the best, they can be redirected to seeking God the best you can and encourage your friends to do the same, leaving the results in the hands of the Lord.

As carefully as you attempt to calibrate what you are doing to bring about the copacetic outcomes you see that others have, you must release expectations because you simply cannot account for the unexpected concatenation of life events that occur outside of your control. 

God accounts for it all, none of it is unexpected to him, and it is all perfectly within his control.

“Son, ‘he said,’ ye cannot in your present state understand eternity…That is what mortals misunderstand. They say of some temporal suffering, “No future bliss can make up for it,” not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory. And of some sinful pleasure they say “Let me have but this and I’ll take the consequences”: little dreaming how damnation will spread back and back into their past and contaminate the pleasure of the sin. Both processes begin even before death. The good man’s past begins to change so that his forgiven sins and remembered sorrows take on the quality of Heaven: the bad man’s past already conforms to his badness and is filled only with dreariness. And that is why…the Blessed will say “We have never lived anywhere except in Heaven, : and the Lost, “We were always in Hell.” And both will speak truly.” ~ C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

Acknowledge this thing, this working backwards, that you can’t do but that God can and will do. Singing Psalm 34, God helps you release expectations. He resets, recalibrates, and elevates them to meet what he has in mind for you and for his world that he loves and is in the process of remaking anew.

You can’t plan ahead for all that will happen to you, to loved ones, to those in your proximity. And if you could, the outcome would be far worse than what actually occurs. So be thankful you can’t!

Keeping this in mind, you have every reason not to trust, to believe in, to rely on, to have faith in yourself or another human.

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” ~ Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25

Singing Psalm 34 you learn that you have every reason to trust, to believe in, to rely on, to have faith in the triune God.

When your sense of self and your identity are securely rooted in being made in God’s image, you aren’t thrown for a loop when you don’t place as well as you had hoped in that competition, when you are unsure of your abilities, and even when you fail at something. You are thankful to get to participate with others and release expectations as your eyes are fixed on the Lord the whole time using every gift he has given you to the utmost.

“O sons and daughters, come! Give ear!     And learn from me the LORD to fear. Who, seeking good, long life desires     Or who to many days aspires?

“From evil make your tongue refrain;     From speaking lies your lips restrain. From every wicked way depart;     Do good; seek peace with all your heart.

“The LORD on just men keeps his eyes;     His ears are open to their cries The LORD redeems those serving Him,     None trusting Him will He condemn.” ~ Psalm 34:11-15, 22

And when he brings you through to the joy in this life and in the next, that joy will be all the richer and sweeter for having gone through the sorrow. In fact, the seeds of joy are buried deep within the sorrow that brings forth the most beautiful blossoms imaginable.

“Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” ~ Philippians 1:19-21

You find that as you release expectations, your story is transformed. You unfold those expectations, and instead of clutching onto them, they are redeemed in the loving arms of your Savior and King, the Lord Jesus Christ.

“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” ~ Isaiah 30:21

The triune God clues you in. Eventually you release expectations knowing that through every twist and turn he was there with you all along leading you to himself, the source of all that is good, whispering, “This is the way. Walk in it.”

Take your broken heart, soul, mind, and strength—all that you have to love God with—along with your worn body and torn relationships. Go to Jesus with the fragments that remain after you release expectations with tears and wait for him.

He will make you whole and fulfill your hope in him that surpasses your wildest dreams.

“The righteous cried; the LORD gave heed,

And then from all their troubles freed.

To broken hearts the LORD is near,

To save the contrite He’ll appear.” ~ Psalm 34:17-18

April 21-28, 2023


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