Everything we do is shaped by the expectations we carry.
If we expect to be promoted or rewarded, that expectation will drive us to work harder. If we expect to always lose or never catch a break, that expectation will drive us to give up or shut down.
Every single action you take today from brushing your teeth to kissing your significant other good night is upheld by a framework of expectations. They are the fuel for what you do.
So then, if faith is expectation (a confidence or certainty in what WILL happen) it must operate the same way.
To have faith is to have your actions shaped by God-ward expectation.
A work-less faith is the product of an expectation-less life, and an expectation-less life is merely an empty existence.
You might be thinking: I understand how faith and expectation are linked, and how actions relate – but is my faith really dead without actions? Let me show you an example from nature to illustrate the point.
On our beautiful planet, most water sources are connected. Lakes become rivers which flow into oceans. Bodies of water dotted across our landscapes find avenues for reaching one another, constantly moving their contents through and around the world. This process keeps them alive.
However, sometimes the flow becomes blocked. The process halts. And what comes next is exactly what James wanted us to understand.