Hope Deferred

When is it time to just “throw in the towel?

When you wait and wait but nothing is changing?

When others tell you that you should “Accept reality and move on?”

When it simply hurts too much to keep on hoping?

What is the half-life of a human hope?

God’s says “Hope deferred (delayed) makes the heart sick”  (Prov.13:12)

Are you heartsick because you have unfulfilled desires? They come in all shapes and sizes. I want someone to love me. I want to be married, have children. own a home, get out from this debt. I need my son or daughter to come to Christ. I want to stop hurting. Some people spend their whole life grieving for the way things are, the way things could have been, should have been but simply aren’t.

God isn’t a killjoy. In fact, He goes as far as calling Himself “The God of hope”. Paul writes that a spirit-filled believer will even have overflowing hope!

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

 You may be thinking “Why would God want me to have my heart set on what may never happen?” He doesn’t.

The hope that the Lord gives isn’t to fill us with more human desire for whatever we feel we need to be happy. Instead, God, is willing to fill you with “confident expectation” for those things He knows we need and that He has promised He will do.

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for Heb 11:1

 Faith is my assurance that God will do what He said, that His promises are true in my life personally and practically. It means I can trust God will glorify Himself, make me more usable, and cause everything to work together for good in my life (no matter how it looks right now) simply because He has said so!

Seeing his precious Jerusalem smoldering in ashes, broken down and burned out, Jeremiah cried out:

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” (Lam 3:24)

Often, our problem is not that we have hope but what we have placed our hope is in.

A new police chaplain rode a night shift with a veteran police officer. It took some time, but the officer eventually warmed up and then opened up his heart to the man of God. He shared about all the disappointments he had experienced throughout his life. He spoke of a hard childhood, a broken marriage and a strained relationship with his son.

He told the chaplain he hardly felt anything at all anymore and that h had become callous to other’s losses and hurts. He felt damaged in his soul and pondered life’s purpose for him.

The chaplain shared with him about a Jesus who knew and loved him and truly hurt for every loss and hurt he had endured. He shared about how Jesus came in part to be a “man of sorrows, acquainted with grief” so He could understand and also comfort is in our wounded condition. He then led the officer in a prayer commiting his life, both his past hurts and failings as well as his future uncertainties into  the hands of a redeeming Savior.

As the officer dropped the chaplain off at the end of the night. The officer rolled down his window, smile and said “Thanks, I was starting to think “Hope” was just a girl I used to know in the third grade!”