Hope Deferred

23 Aug
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick,
but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12

Recently, the Lord has been showing me more and more of my own heart. I am reminded of the verse in Proverbs that says the heart is desperately wicked….who can know it? Struggles, fears, worries, frustrations rise all too quickly in the heart where the feelings reside. Out of the heart the mouth speaks; out of the heart spiritual fruit is borne, good or bad.

I often come to wonder why I feel certain ways. In my prayer time last night, I was reminded of this verse. Wanting to know more of what it is actually was speaking of and conveying, I did a little study and was blessed.

What is hope? An expectation that you must stay, tarry, trust, and wait for.
What does deffered mean? To prolong, to delay, to remove, extend, forbear, stretch out.

As I meditated on this passage, I came to realize a few things:
When one has an expectation for someone or something, they wait for it to come to pass. They trust that the expectation will certainly be fulfilled. They don’t press on to something else but stay and tarry with anticipating desire that their hopes will be granted. The important thing to remember is to ask ourselves if our desires are Christ’s desires. Are they self-pleasing or are they in accordance to the Word of God?
When all these hopes of expectation seem to be prolonged from being answered, when the fulfillment of the request is delayed, and these desires are waning and eventually start to be removed by discouragement and sorrow, then the heart (where the feelings, will, and intellect reside) starts to feel sick. The heart becomes weak – the strength to pursue in hope is lost; the heart is grieved – sorrow follows frustrated desires; the heart is wounded – hurts are felt when we feel let down and forgotten; our heart is worn – it feels defeated as if “all is loss”, ready to give up and give in.
(This is a very sorry place to live in and to dwell on. This is not where Christ desires for us to abide – in a weakened, wounded, worn out state.)

But the second half of the verse brings encouragement. When in God’s timing and purpose, this desire and longing is granted and comes to pass, it is a tree of life. Notice it is not a twig, branch, or even the stump of life but rather a tree. Why? Twigs snap; branches are dead apart from the sap of the tree; stumps cannot bear fruit. Trees, however, can be strong and sturdy, rooted in the soil (God’s Word); bearing forth fruit (of the Spirit); and proving shade and refreshment to others (encouragement and support).

Granted desires are trees of life to our hearts and minds. They bring us life, renewed zeal, deeper faith. They make us stronger in Jesus to trust Him and to wait on Him for future expectations and hopes. They make our beings to be joyful, merry, and lively.
Waiting and Hoping for a desire makes the fulfillment of it all the more sweeter. What a treasured blessing.

Hope will be deffered many times because our timing is not always God’s timing; but we must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus so that our heart doesn’t have the tendency to become ‘sick’. A sick soldier can’t fight very well. Remember, we are soldiers of Christ warring against principalities, powers, and the rulers of the darkness of this world. If we are sick, we won’t be able to accomplish our duties as a soldier, and we certainly won’t be up to fighting and may even have the tendency to let down our guard and be overcome and taken captive by the enemy.

The only way to prevent a sickened heart is to surrender our hopes to Jesus – to lay them at the foot of the cross – and to trust Him to fulfill them in His own time. Do you know where the safest place to be is? It is to be at the place where our hope is in the Lord – desiring exactly what He wants for us. Being at this place of surrender will give us the strength we need to continue hoping for our desire and to not despair with discouragement. He will give us the strength to believe that all things are possible through Him!

He is the Father of all good and perfect gifts! Abiding in Him brings rest, peace, fulfillment, joy, and blessing!

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One Response to “Hope Deferred”

  1. Rachel August 25, 2007 at 5:09 pm #

    Very good, Sara. I know I need to abide in the Lord more and be content in Him. Thank you!

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