Hope Deferred

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

Hello, friends. Here’s a scripture that I dealt with many years ago — it taught me how to submit to the Lord to build my confidence in Him while waiting through hope deferred until the desire came to pass. It was tough at first but His word comforted and strengthened me during the early weak times — I learned to glory in my infirmities so that His power might rest upon me. For when I was weak, then I was strong because of His power (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). And now we hope you will be comforted with the same comfort.

Let’s begin —

  • The word “hope” refers to an expectation for what will come.
  • The word “deferred” means, to prolong (or delay) in the sense of drawing out time.
  • The word “sick” is a causative “be” verb, i.e., hope deferred causes the heart to “grieve.”

Here is where the heart “suffers” the pain of not yet receiving what is hoped for. So, how do we handle the pain or suffering? Well, let’s look at the suffering for what it is … a burden.

Now we’re getting somewhere….

Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”

The word “burden” refers to “a heavy gift that is difficult to bear.” You see, the Lord urges us to cast our burden upon Him — cast or “hurl” the burden that was given to us to Him and He will sustain us.

The word “sustain” is used figuratively, “to maintain” and refers to God’s ability to provide the support we need to endure the wait for the desire to come to pass. He makes it possible for us to outlast hope deferred through His strength which is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Another note of concern for us is that the Lord will not suffer the righteous to be moved. He will not allow us “to waver; or by implication to slip, shake, or fall” but will keep us safely under His care.

He will not allow us to go off track as we put our confidence in Him. We will only fall by the wayside through unbelief, i.e., we decide to go our own way. Don’t fall for this trap but trust in the Lord and wait upon Him to renew your strength to endure unto the end (Isaiah 40:31).

Psalm 37:23-25 says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”

Basically, the Lord provides what is needed so that we can maintain under the pressure of hope deferred — He gives us the consolation to endure unto the end so that when the desire cometh, it will be a tree of life.

There’s no need to worry about anything, right? Exactly! Why? Because the Lord said, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7).

His peace which passeth all understanding will keep our hearts and minds safe and sound in Him if we hold to the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end… (Hebrews 3:14).

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” (1 John 5:14-15).

The next time hope is deferred … let us remember what God said and be comforted in Him so that we will be enabled to endure any weaknesses by His perfect strength while we wait for the desire to come to pass. We know that it WILL be a tree of our life that will cause us to be more firm in our faith and confidence in the Lord. Amen?!

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