I wish I could remember and find the link, but I read something recently which I found both striking and compelling. The thought goes something like this (with my own additions): We live in a wonderful world fraught with great possibility not only for evil, but for good, and with youth comes dreams and expectations. But we find inevitabley that the downdrag of the world, the flesh and the devil preys on what good is achieved. The one exception to that ought to be in the one outpost of God’s kingdom on earth, the church in and through Jesus. Of course even there the world and the flesh and the devil are present since the church is not yet perfected in the already/not yet salvation of the present. We are saved and are being saved and will be saved in and through Jesus.
There is much we experience in this life which is so good, and which we come too easily to take for granted. But there is inevitably the worm in the apple. And all good things must come to an end, sadly, as far as “life under the sun” is concerned (Ecclesiastes). And so we find that even the good we experience has its limitations: it won’t last forever, and our appreciation of it is too fickle, given our weakness and propensity for something new, something more. And as C. S. Lewis has pointed out, if after we experience the good in this life, and there remains in us a longing for something that nothing in this life has fulfilled, that is a good indication that there is something more, something beyond this present life for which we were created.
Therefore the death of expectations and dreams might end up being a blessing. We find that the best this life has to offer, while good, still has a sense of incompleteness in it. And that sometimes what seems good to us ends up biting us for one reason or another.
That leaves us with any sense of ultimate, final expectation only from God. That expectation is in terms of new creation of the old, including all things. Fulfilled in and through Jesus in his death and resurrection. An expectation which is nothing less than a promise, the promise coming from no one less than God. In and through Jesus.