Expect What?

A Common Saying

There is a common saying which is: “Expect the unexpected.” While this saying is both a paradox, and is also somewhat pithy, it encourages people to be prepared for unforeseen changes or challenges in life. The irony of such a saying is that it implies that the most expected things in life are the things which really are unexpected. Such an outlook requires a certain cynicism and fatalism which is unhealthy for the Christian.

Christian Expectations

For the Christian, the truth is that there are many things in life we should expect that those from the world should not. We have been given a glimpse into not only how the world will come to an end, but also into the spiritual nature of things unseen around us. While there will always be unforeseen disasters, Christians should completely expect certain things to happen.


It is no secret that the Christian will face trials (James 1:2ff; et al.). Part of learning to deal with these kinds of problems is the foreknowledge of their existence. While we may not know the exact form of a trial, we generally are aware that the world and our adversary will place obstacles in our path.


It is frankly surprising that the world shows great surprise when injustice takes place, especially given what an unjust place the world is. By choosing to leave the perfect justice of God, the world at its best can only provide imperfect justice, and at its worst true wickedness. For the Christian to be surprised by unjust treatment in the world, they would have to not be paying attention (cf. 1 Cor. 6).


This describes the ultimate surprise for man which has yet to be fully realized. It is promised that the judgment will be both swift and a complete surprise for man (Mat. 24:43; 1 Thes. 5:2). Christians should know exactly what to expect when all is finally realized, even if its time is unknown. It is this knowledge that gives us the ultimate edge over the world. We know both what is always coming and how to avoid judgment in it!

Each New Day

So, while each new day brings its own problems (Mat. 6:34), it is important to realize that the Christian is far better prepared to face any day that those who are in the world. In terms of the spiritual world and how the spiritual is manifest into the physical, there should be little we do not expect. If we are caught by surprise in life, maybe we are not paying attention to what we should.

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