Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
Proverbs 13:12 (ESV)
Sadly, many of us live in “hope-deferred” mode. We misplace our hope one little shred at a time. We believe lies that the world, our flesh and the devil feed us and we don’t even realize it. Let’s put a stop to that today!
Often a look at the past will give us sure footing for our present and direction for the future. An old hymn comes to mind.
“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness” first rang out in West Sussex, England in 1834. Pastor and hymn writer Edward Mote gifted the church for generations with this profound truth set to music. He originally titled the piece, “The Immutable Basis for a Sinner’s Hope.” Did you hear it? The foundation of our hope is unchanging, totally secure and singular. It’s Jesus.
The refrain (On Christ the Solid Rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand) is based on Jesus’ parable of the wise and foolish builders. When we build our lives on the rock-solid truth that Jesus is all and fills all, we are like the wise builders. When we choose other foundations, our hearts are sick and we do not experience the abundant life Jesus promised.
Hoping for a particular gift, a house, a car, an opportunity, a style, a child, a conclusion, or any number of things will leave us ultimately empty and open to disappointment, discouragement and despair. Hope fulfilled is a tree of life. Perhaps Jesus used the phrase “abundant life” to describe that very tree!
Living It Out – Ask God to raise your hope radar. Did you know that you can speak words of hope and life into others. Listen carefully for the H word and identify the object of that hope. Ask God to show you words of grace to encourage others who have misplaced their hope. This is not an exercise in correction; it’s a demonstration of encouragement.