Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12 (KJV)
Ahhh, have I ever felt the emotion of this verse over the years, I am sure at times you have as well. Hope has seemed to elude my life’s journey and left a terrible void that cannot be filled with any other thing. I have tried very hard to make the adjustment and reduce my painful lack of hope to more of an annoyance than the debilitating handicap it is.
Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick, but a sudden good break can turn life around. Proverbs 13:12 (MSG)
Hope is essential to our existence, and yet we temper our ability to hope all the time. You see, hope and expectation are inexorably connected. I cannot count how many times I have heard it uttered, “keep your expectations in check,” in trying to warn someone to avoid disappointment. How many wild and faith-fueled visions have gone unrealized by people being told that they can’t or shouldn’t do something, that they are unable to realize a certain goal because of the influence of another’s beliefs or limits. So we will defer to “common sense” and stick with the path of least resistance.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick; but when dreams come true at last, there is life and joy. Proverbs 13:12 (TLB)
Hope has gotten a bad name really. With all our planning and graphs, our statistical analysis, and the information available that gives us the tendencies and outcomes of anything we are thinking about doing, these all contribute to the lack of faith essential in realizing the intangible nature of this longing.
Work with me here, I am not talking about the teenager who works and study’s, gets good grades, goes to college knowing what they want to do and makes it happen.
Neither am I saying that we blindly launch into wacky dreams with disregard to some semblance of logic and common sense. My question is – what has happened to the adventure? Where is the trust that what we are sensing isn’t madness, but God?
Hope which is delayed, tormenteth the soul; a tree of life is (a) desire (that is) coming. Proverbs 13:12 (WYC)
Ultimately, I am talking about hope for the impossible dreams that many times seem unreachable. Lives that have no reason to expect restoration can get stuck in a vacuum that pulls down expectations, and thereby eliminates the possibility for hope to become a blossoming reality. We have been abused and mistreated, are seemingly hopelessly addicted, we have been victimized, or spent our lives in sinful rebellion. We abandon all hope, considering ourselves to be undeserving of God’s goodness.
We eliminate ourselves far to quickly. When in our brokenness we seek God’s face in repentance and truth, God forgives and forgets, He casts away our sins into the dark and infinite depths, never to be recalled.
He restores the hope of this life again.
Micah 7:18-20 (KJV)
18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.
19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
In the verses of Matthew 9 are found the truth we need to know.
- God see’s the faith that man doesn’t (vs.1)
- God not only forgives but restores ones ability to walk (vs.6)
- God forgives the ones we don’t want Him to (vs.9-11)
- God rebukes the self-righteous (vs.12,13)
Jesus climbed into a boat and went back across the lake to his own town. 2 Some people brought to him a paralyzed man on a mat. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “Be encouraged, my child! Your sins are forgiven.”
3 But some of the teachers of religious law said to themselves, “That’s blasphemy! Does he think he’s God?”
4 Jesus knew[a] what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you have such evil thoughts in your hearts? 5 Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? 6 So I will prove to you that the Son of Man[b] has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”
7 And the man jumped up and went home! 8 Fear swept through the crowd as they saw this happen. And they praised God for sending a man with such great authority.[c]
9 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him.
10 Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. 11 But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?[d]”
12 When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” 13 Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’[e] For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”
- Our hope is not dictated by the confused and always moving standards of men
- Our hope is not limited by what looks like irreparable mistakes or wounds
- Our hope is not hindered because of the judgements of the religious and prideful
- Our hope is stifled by unbelief
- Our hope is held in limbo when we have un-confessed sin in our lives
- Our hope is renewed every day when we trust in God
- Our hope cannot be taken from us by anyone
- Our hope is forever and completely assured by God
Psalm 43 (NASB)
Prayer for Deliverance.
43 Vindicate me, O God, and plead my case against an ungodly nation;
[a]O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man!
2 For You are the God of my strength; why have You rejected me?
Why do I go mourning [b]because of the oppression of the enemy?
3 O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me;
Let them bring me to Your holy hill
And to Your dwelling places.
4 Then I will go to the altar of God,
To God [c]my exceeding joy;
And upon the lyre I shall praise You, O God, my God.