The Link Between Fear and Expectation

Table of contents for Conquering Day to Day Fears

  1. Is Fear the Center of Your Attention?
  2. The Link Between Fear and Expectation

Reading Level: Gratifying

Expectation plays a large part in what takes place in your life.

Your expectations are important. Expectation affects your emotions as well as your responses to both people and circumstances. (This is Part 2 on Fear. If you missed the first post, “Is Fear the Center of Your Attention?,” please use this link to read it first.) It is easy to understand that if you are “expecting” a situation to go badly or “expecting” a person to respond to you negatively, you yourself will not speak or behave in the same positive manner as when you are anticipating good. This is how a person, by living according to fears, actually triggers situations to turn out poorly or people to respond to him negatively without even realizing his influence.

Mark Twain said,

I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.

Most of our fearful expectations never take place; however, the consequences of those fearful expectations in one’s physical health, relationships, and reactions to situations still produce negative effects that would not have been there if one was not expecting bad to happen.

When feeling the tendency to fear and expect negative outcomes, choose instead to focus your attention on good possibilities.

If your fearful expectations cause you to interact in a negative way with people and circumstances, then creating less than favorable results, the opposite is also true. Choosing to anticipate good resolutions to situations and positive interactions with people will cause you to speak and act in healthy, constructive ways; your positive, healthy words and actions then bring about more favorably responses in both people and circumstances.

Let’s take a look at 2 practical examples of how a person’s positive expectations, rather than fearful ones, affect his or her interactions with people and situations.

Look first at this illustration about a blind beggar:

As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city of Jericho, a blind man, Bartimaeus, was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth walking by, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Mk. 10:46-48

Here is a man whom likely had many fearful expectations. Blindness had taken from him his career and livelihood, as well as many other enjoyments of life we take for granted. People would have treated him differently all his life due to being a blind beggar. Yet, having heard of God’s power working through Jesus to heal, his expectations of (1) good, positive personal interaction with Jesus and (2) the possibility of being healed caused him to yell to get Jesus’ attention. He continued to cry out even though the crowd yelled at him to stop. Jesus did hear him, stop, and heal him. The blind man’s life was restored to all the good for which he had hoped. Realize that the key to this man’s new life was his expectation. If he had given in to fearful expectations, of Jesus’ rejection or of not being healed, he would never have yelled out to attract Jesus’ attention, especially after being harassed by the crowd.

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Here is a similar illustration with the friends of a paralytic:

Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. Luke 5:18-19

These four friends (Mk. 2:3) of the paralytic had positive expectations. They would not have carried their friend on a mat through a mob-size crowd unless they had first been motivated by good expectations, both relationship-wise with Jesus and in the paralytic’s circumstance. Once they were unable to even get their paralytic friend into the house where Jesus was, people with fearful expectations, who really did not believe in a good outcome, would have given up and gone home. Instead, by anticipating good, they had healthy emotions and constructive actions which overcame the obstacles in an innovative manner. What was the result? They received the anticipated outcome – a good personal response from Jesus and a change in the paralytic’s circumstances; he could now walk!

Make a decision to daily have positive expectations instead of fearful ones!

Even during unexpected difficulties, you will still respond better in your emotions and decision-making. Your anticipation of good resolutions and positive people interactions will bring far more favorable results in life than by living in fear.

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