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Expectations from God in the New Year

I think we all rang in the New Year with high hopes, prayers, and expectations for some changes in our lives and in our world!

To that end, I’d like to share with you something theologian Albert Barnes said in the 1800’s:


Psalms 33:22 says, “Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us—Let us find or obtain thy mercy or thy favor according as we hope in thee.”

It may be remarked in regard to this:

(a) it is but “reasonable” that we should look for the favor of God only as we trust in him, for we could not with propriety expect his favor beyond the measure of our confidence in him.

(b) This may be regarded as the most that we are entitled to hope from God. We have no reason to suppose that he will go beyond our wishes and prayers, or that he will confer favors on us which we neither expect nor desire.

(c) One of the reasons why the people of God are no more blessed, or why they receive no more favors from him, may be found in what is here suggested. As they expect little, they obtain little; as they have no intense, burning, lofty desire for the favor of God, either for themselves personally, or for their families, or for the world, so they obtain but slight tokens of that favor.

(d) The true principle, therefore, upon which God is willing to bestow His favors, and which will be the rule that He will observe, is, that if people desire much, they will obtain much; that if they have big expectations, they will not be disappointed; and that God is willing to bestow His mercies upon His people and upon the world to the utmost of their desires and hopes.

Compare that with Psalm 81:10, which says, “Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it,” and Psalm 37:4, “Delight thyself in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desires of thy heart.”

How intense and fervent, then, should be the prayers and the petitions of the people of God! How earnest the supplications of sinners that God would have mercy on them!”*


Happy New Year and a prayer for God’s richest blessings from all of us at Men of Valor to you and your families!

*Quoted from Barnes, Albert: Notes on the Old Testament: Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, 1983 (reprinted from 1870 edition, Blackie & Son, London) pp 284-285

Brad Smith
Brad Smith is the executive director of Men of Valor International.

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