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Sundown Devotional: Beyond Human Expectations

MsDora, former teacher and Christian counselor presents practical Scriptural principles for joyful everyday living.

Beyond our imagination (Photo Credit: Ana Fernandes)

Beyond our imagination (Photo Credit: Ana Fernandes)

The Devotional

He was too short . . . So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree. . . When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus. . . “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” (Luke 19: 3-5 NLT).

He was responsible not for his shortness, but for allowing it to influence his expectation. If he could just get a view of Jesus without any obstruction, he thought, that would be a great achievement. So, he set his goal and pursued it.

His short legs began to run, and on reaching the sycamore tree, they climbed. His efforts paid off when he saw Jesus from the treetop. He looked at the Master Teacher as if he (Zacchaeus) were a commoner looking at a celebrity in a parade. Such short-term satisfaction compared to the long-term benefit that Jesus intended!

Imagine Zacchaeus’ excitement when Jesus saw him, called his name, and invited Himself to the short man’s house! No mention of physical limitation during their fellowship; instead Zacchaeus gained height in morality and spirituality (Verse 8). The haters were furious, because what happened was beyond their expectation also.

This may be a good time to evaluate our personal goals. If they are based solely on what we believe that history and heredity have predicted for us, or on the opinions that other people express, we may be selling ourselves short.

It is never too late to embrace the possibility of divine intervention in our affairs, remembering that God is able “do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20 NIV). Our human expectations may be limited by what we think can happen. God’s expectations are sourced by His ability to make things happen. Let’s accept His offer to have Him dwell in us.

Prayer: Dear God, please forgive us for the self-imposed limits that have delayed our optimum success. We raise our expectations now as we invite your input into all areas of our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Photo Credit: Dreamer

Photo Credit: Dreamer

For Reflection

  • What and how much had I lost by trying to do only what was expected of me instead of what I myself had wished to do?” ― Ralph Ellison
  • You can not entertain weak, harmful, negative thoughts ten hours a day and expect to bring about beautiful, strong and harmonious conditions by ten minutes of strong, positive, creative thought. ― Charles F. Haane
  • There are no limits when you are surrounded by people who believe in you, or by people whose expectations are not set by the short-sighted attitudes of society. ― Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • We need to have far less confidence in what man can do and far more confidence in what God can do . . . He longs to have you expect great things from Him. . . He can sharpen the intellect. He can give tact and skill. ― Ellen G. White
  • However many blessings we expect from God, His infinite liberality will always exceed all our wishes and our thoughts. ― John Calvin
Photo Credit: Joolz. Text added.

Photo Credit: Joolz. Text added.

For Application

  • Promise Yourself . . . To think only the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best. ― Christian D. Larson
  • Don't let the expectations and ideas of others limit who you are. If you let others tell you who you are, you are living their reality — not yours. There is more to life than pleasing people. ― Roy T. Bennett
  • Don't see the worst in a person and expect them to see the best in you. Don't judge people and expect them to stand by your side. Don't play with fire and expect to stay perfectly safe. Life is about giving and taking. ― Najwa Zebian
  • To succeed in life and achieve results, you must understand and master three mighty forces— desire, belief, and expectation. ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
  • You were born to win, but to be a winner you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win. ― Zig Ziglar

Expectation Poll

More Sundown Devotionals

  • Sundown Devotional: Discipline We Can Love
    God's discipline demonstrates His love, His concern and His mercy. It's His way of telling us that He can reach us wherever we are to teach us what we need to learn. It's His offer of a second chance.
  • Sundown Devotional: What Makes a Good Choice?
    It is not a good choice if it is motivated by fear, pet peeves, hidden agendas or the intention to hurt someone. So what makes it a good choice? Does God make any offer to help us with our choices?

© 2019 Dora Weithers


Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 28, 2019:

Thanks, Devika. It is true that in all your us and downs, you write about being positive.You also help people to be positive.

Devika Primic on November 28, 2019:

I have been through good times and bad times and affected by the positive and the negative in my life. This happens to any one and everyone. Inmost cases we let ourselves get into the mess we don't want or don't realize it. However through all times I remained positive and did not let any negative spoil my chances of getting further in what I wanted to do for myself..Your hub inspires people to be positive.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 01, 2019:

Lawrence, there couldn't have been too many things to remember. Glad you stood up what didn't want, but still kept your friends. Says a positive lot about you.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on November 01, 2019:


I really enjoyed the devotional here, but couldnt answer the question as I know I've done things because others expected me to, but I can't remember them.

The only one I remember trying was smoking when I was 14, that was because friends smoked and they wanted me to be like them.

I got a quarter way through and felt sick so I gave up, I remember thinking 'forget this'.

No one pushed me to try again after that!! and we still stayed friends.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 18, 2019:

Cynthia, you encourage me by letting me know that you benefit from the devotional. Thank you and Happy Sabbath!

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on October 18, 2019:


Thank you. You have blessed me with your Friday devotional. I struggle daily with letting go and letting God. The quotation from Charles F. Haane resonates for me today. God bless you!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 18, 2019:

Lori, I'm guessing that for Zacchaeus, the thrill was far beyond his imagination and satisfaction. I'm sure that we had similar experiences. More to come.

Lori Colbo from United States on October 18, 2019:

I have always been filled with a sense of thrill for dear Zacchaeus. The thrill of imagining his thrill, and the thrill of what Christ did for him.

Human expectations are often misguided or unattainable. It causes unnecessary stress and disappointment. This was a very helpful devotional. Thank you, Dora.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 12, 2019:

Thanks, Alyssa. God made us with our personal agenda. It's difficult to work on ours and on someone else's at the same time.

Alyssa from Ohio on October 12, 2019:

Such an important message here. If we constantly do things only to please others, we'll never be happy or live up to our full potential. I love the inspiring quotes you shared!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 09, 2019:

Nithya, truly it is the divine intervention that makes us reach the unreachable. Thank you for your input.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on October 09, 2019:

We can reach the unreachable star when we have faith and believe in the divine power. Thank you reminding that we can do better than the best with divine intervention.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 08, 2019:

Thanks, Bill. I've never met Zig Ziglar and I still like him, so I imagine the impact he made on you. Thanks for following.

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on October 08, 2019:

As usual. all good stuff here! I liked the Zig Zigler quote. I saw him at a motivational conference years ago - quite a guy he was.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 06, 2019:

Thanks, Sean. I know I would enjoy your company in person, but I'm glad that we can share this time together, anyway.

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on October 06, 2019:

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”

― Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

My dear sister, Dora, sitting by your side on the back porch, and listen to your lightful words is the best way to rest my mind this Sunday evening! Thank you!



Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 06, 2019:

Thanks, Cynthia. Have a great week yourself. Stay inspired.

Antonio50S on October 06, 2019:

Beyond Human Expectations.

((( ROMANS 8:35-39 ))) Esp 37

Antonio50S on October 06, 2019:

Thank you Dora. You are right, And read this over again. I do understand the lesson from Zacchaeous. And also believe ( no matter what the outcome in this life ) ALL true believers will be successful when genuine faith is involved. ((( ROMANS 8:35-39 ))) SPIRITUAL SUCCESS. Like Zacchaeous.

"Me Personally" I noticed 4 Hugely outstanding quotes which is exactly how i see things myself.

Ralph Ellison.

Ellen G. White.

John Calvin.

Najwa Zebian. "For me" The Best. Love it. :)

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on October 05, 2019:

Another great devotional for the week ahead. I love your questions that tend to plumb to depths I don't always get to. Thank you and have a wonderful week Dora!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 05, 2019:

Eric, thanks for sharing. "My positive expectations mess with that." In addition, God is able to do more than you expect, so keep right on expecting.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 05, 2019:

Thanks, Linda. I agree wholeheartedly. We need to understand the premise of our expectations as well as cheerleaders to help ua enjoy the journey.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 05, 2019:

Antonio, thanks for our in put. Success is really a good topic which we can explore in another session.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 05, 2019:

John, thanks for your contribution. No wonder the haters were upset with Jesus for recognizing and dining with Zacchaeus. We all have haters for various reasons, but isn't it great that they have no vote on whether or not our expectations come true?

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 05, 2019:

Lucine, I am excited to see you in my HubCircle. I pray for God's continual wisdom to inspire. Thanks for standing by me.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 05, 2019:

Thanks, Nell, for your kind comment. The weekend has gone well so far. Hope it has been the same for you.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 05, 2019:

Thanks, Cheryl. I appreciate your encouragement.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 05, 2019:

Hi Dora it is good to read this. I think I expect a whole lot. My Dr. tells me I am depressed, but that my positive expectations mess with that. Listening to Carly Simon -- Anticipation.

Now my little family puts up with my cancer. We just reckon Christ will do it right.

In some way and in some light, God has never ever let me down.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on October 04, 2019:

It's important that we have someone or something in life that we believe in and that supports us. Thank you for creating an inspiring article, Dora.

Antonio50S on October 04, 2019:

To Dora.

Read all these Quotes. They are really good.

Picking up on ( Matthew 19:26 ) "With God all things are possible" That is very true of couese. But would like to add. Our View of Success is not the same as God's view.

If we have the right attitude, God can use anybody. I REALLY FEEL one thing we all need to be very careful of is falling into the idea of thinking, "How I did it" "How i succeded" Having the right attitude of succeed is a good thing, but in God's Eyes, it's all about HIM, and his Will. Not ours. ( Matthew 6:33 ) "Seek first the Kingdom of God" What does that mean ? It means it's all about God, His Kingdom, and everthing associated with that, Then everything else will be given us. "According" to what we need, not what we want. That may include death, if that is the will of God.

There's times in life when we may feel how WE succseed, then things take a sudden turn for the worst, and then a turn for the best. It's times like that, we realise who's really in charge of Life, and that someone much higher is in control. Therefore, it's all about God's Kingdom.

( 1 Peter 5:6 ) "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time"

God is the one who does the exalting, NOT US. Our job is to KEEP practicing HUMILITY. ( 1 Corinthians 1:31 ) "AS IT IS WRITTEN: Let him who boast boast in the Lord" Because it's God who makes the the nobodies of this world into somebodies in his Kingdom. Jeremiah Study Bible. NKJV

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on October 04, 2019:

A wonderful Bible quote, and other words of wisdom MsDora. Zacchaeus was actually a tax collector (an occupation that wasn't terribly popular at the time), he had few friends and many people were quite unimpressed by Jesus giving him his attention and inviting himself to the man's home for a meal. Thank you for sharing this today.

Lucine pemberton vaughan on October 04, 2019:

You are truly inspired by God

I look forward with great anticipation for your words of inspiration.

May God continue to bless you as you continue to be a blessing to so many

Nell Rose from England on October 04, 2019:

Great words and wisdom Dora, have a wonderful Weekend! :)

Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on October 04, 2019:

Once again, beautiful work. Continue to wow us.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 04, 2019:

Pamela, thank you for sharing your testimony of hope, beyond human expectations. You encourage many of us who need a witness!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 04, 2019:

I have been through such difficult times in my life due to medical problems. If I didn't think God could surpass my expectations I would not have nearly as much hope. I loved your devotional today as it was full of positive words, phrases and thoughts. You wrote a wonderful article for today.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 04, 2019:

Bill, thanks for your encouraging comment. So glad you liked this devotional.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 04, 2019:

Loved today's devotional. It was a shot in the arm of "feel good" and "motivation" as I begin my day, and for that I thank you.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 04, 2019:

Mary, I can bet that you payback time is a happier time. Thanks for sharing. I'm encouraged.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 04, 2019:

Sunrise, welcome to my HubCircle. Thanks for your very affirmative comment. Looking forward to seeing you around.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on October 04, 2019:

I relate fully to what you say here. I have lived my life meeting obligations. Laughingly, I would say, it's payback time. Now, I have been freed of that. I am now giving time to what I really want to do.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 04, 2019:

Flourish, thanks for your input. Your conclusion is worth repeating: "You just have to be positive, hopeful, and create the life and future you want for yourself."

Sunrise on October 04, 2019:

A very inspiring discourse. It puts the onus back on the individual. To me the key message is "never sell yourself short'. Every new day brings with it new opportunities.

FlourishAnyway from USA on October 04, 2019:

I have a relative who is a constant source of low key negative thoughts such as “I don’t see why you’re doing that,” “It’s such a waste of time,” etc. when it comes to my volunteering, Hubbing, etc. I’ve had to set limits regarding contact because nothing else has worked. You just have to be positive, hopeful, and create the life and future you want for yourself.

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