Hope delayed makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life. ~Proverbs 13:12
Where is our hope?
Is it in an outcome? Is it when I attain a level of success? Is it when my spouse straightens up? Is it when my student loan is paid off? Is it when I purchase my dream home? Is it when I am healed?
Is your hope delayed? Is your heart sick?
Hope isn’t about anticipation of an event that you expect to occur. It isn’t about achieving something that you can ever dream of obtaining. Proverbs 13:12 isn’t speaking about this kind of delay. It’s not the way that you might feel when there’s a rain delay in game seven of the World Series. Because, after all, even though the game has not started when you anticipated that it would, you know from experience that, eventually, it will begin.
Hope speaks to what we can’t anticipate and what we don’t expect or see. Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen (Heb 11:1).
How does that speak into your present situation? Do you find yourself in a hole that is deep and dark and climbing the walls is impossible? There is no rope or ladder for escape. You are alone.
Where is your hope?
We can hope in the outcome, that someday we will be out of this pit and we will walk again in the sunshine surrounded by good things and the people we love.
Or, we can hope in God. The God who sees. The God whose plan for us is beyond anything we could anticipate. The God who promises all the things that we long for. Actually, even better than what we long for (Eph 3:20).
Hebrews 11:1 tells us that hope is not about what we can see, vision, or imagine. Hope is what we cannot see. If we can imagine it, then, very likely, our hope is misplaced. Hope that brings sustenance to the soul is in what we can’t see, what we can’t envision. It is in Christ. In Christ, the hope of glory (Col 1:27).
Brothers and sisters, this is where our hope must lie. We must hope in the glory that we can’t yet see. The glory of the gospel that remains a great mystery. We must remember that God really does love us. He really does forgive us in Christ. We really do stand righteous before God. He really will, one day, bring us into His glory.
Don’t worry if you can’t see it or have difficulty believing it. That’s what hope is all about. If you could envision it, if you could wrap your brain around it and know it, it really wouldn’t be hope now, would it?
Take heart, beloved, if God loves you enough to relieve your biggest pain point, your largest area of suffering, without your having to lift a finger, how much more does he know and care for you in your present circumstances—circumstances that do not compare to the weight of glory to be experienced by all who call upon his name (2 Cor 4:17).
Let us all be quick to relinquish control and hope in God who is good, right, and perfect. The One who loves us dearly.
We must trust God. This really is our only hope.