I was having a conversation with someone, and at one point he pulled out the classic saying, ““Expect the worst and hope for the best.” I know the heart behind this phrase. I know it means we should prepare contingencies in case our plans fail. But still, I find it to be a horrible saying.
The problem is that it misunderstands the nature of expectation. Expectation is a form of faith. Your expectation is the belief that what you’’re hoping for is actually going to happen, not your back up plan to take care of yourself in case it doesn’’t.
You can’’t hope for God’’s best if you’’re believing in the worst. You can’’t hope to get the job you desperately need if you’’re expecting to get turned down. You can’’t hope that God is going to restore your marriage if you’’re expecting to sign divorce papers any day now.
What would Peter have done that day out on the Sea of Galilee if he had expected the worst and hoped for the best? Well, his name means ““Rock,”” and I suppose he would have expected to sink like one. This terrible expectation would have been offset at best by a hope that Jesus would grab his arm and pull him back to the surface before he drowned.
But that’’s not what is going through Peter’’s mind. Peter – —at least at first— – expects the best. Since Jesus calls him out of the boat, well, then Peter apparently thinks he will be able to go to Him walking on the waves.
Now, it’’s true that in just a moment his fear will get the better of him. His faith will cease holding him up, and he will earn a rebuke from the Lord because of it. But let’’s give him his props. At least for a little while, he really believes he can walk on water – —and he does it.
How many of us have such a strong expectation of the best that we are prepared to lower ourselves over the side of the boat and place the ball of our foot onto the uncertainty of water?
Jesus is calling you today. “”Come to Me,”” He says. “”Come toward the future I have for you.””
And so expect the best. Hope for the best. Accept what God allows. And give Him the glory.