Hope Deferred

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

Have you ever had an expectation that has been delayed or put off to a future time? There could have been someone who had promised you that they would do something for you. You were expecting it, hoping for it, anticipating the day would finally come as they promised, only to find out that they broke their promise, or worse, even changed their mind. It’s like a child waiting for a parent who never shows up, or a couple longing for children who are never conceived. It’s the person unjustly imprisoned and kept from freedom by delay—after delay. The businessman who puts all he has into a project that increasingly feels like a losing cause—the missionary laboring for decades with very little fruit to show. When you are hoping for something important, waiting for it, longing for it, and it keeps on getting postponed or pushed further down the road, it makes your heart sick.

By the way, hope deferred is different than delayed gratification. Waiting for hours to try a delicious new restaurant isn’t what the Bible is talking about. When something we’ve hoped for has been delayed for many years, or seems a long way off, we can easily despair. Hopelessness leads to despair, which is associated with sickness in our hearts. Sick hearts can easily become bitter and angry. Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase, “Hurting people hurt people.” A heart that is sick can cause you to blow up at others or push them away.

What we need to do when our hope has been deferred, is to put our hope in God instead. The Bible says He will never leave us nor forsake us. His promises will always come to pass, and we can always depend on His Word.

Lamentations 3:25-26 The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.

Because there are a lot of unfulfilled wishes in this life, there are a lot of heartsick people in this world. There is no sickness quite so disheartening as heartsickness. That is why, when our hope has been deferred, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus instead, just like in Psalm 39:7, “And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.”

Psalm 42:11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

When we put our hope in Christ, we will never be disappointed!

Ray Pechardo

Bro Pechardo serves the Lord full-time as our Filipino Pastor, Missions Director, and Soulwinning Director. Ray and his wife Lucy have three children.

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