Hope deferred makes the heart sick; but when dreams come true at last, there is life and joy.
Proverbs 13:12 TLB
Hope deferred makes the heart sick…what does that really mean anyway? I really never thought much about it until I began walking through the “waiting” seasons in my life and now I can see what the scripture means. The word defer means to put off, or postpone. When it comes to something we want no one really wants to hear the word “defer”, right?
We have this promise from God and we are holding onto it with all we have…we have our hope at the highest level and we are walking and talking in faith…but, we have yet to obtain the thing we are hoping for. So, now what…we keep trusting and hoping but over time something tends to happen. Uh oh, it’s that “sick heart” thing. Times of doubt and discouragement begin to set in. We can experience a roller coaster of emotions; I know I have.
The questions begin swirling around in our heads…I mean, “did I really hear from the Lord”? “Did He really say that”? If He did, “why is it taking so long”? “Am I not in faith”? “Did I do something wrong”? This is where the enemy does some of his best work. He has been at this from the beginning of time starting with Adam and Eve and he has not changed! He loves to get us to question God and what He has said to us.
Since we live in such an instant gratification society it is easy to allow those same expectations to bleed over into our “faith world”. We have to remember that God’s timing is not ours and many times it is more about the preparation and the process than it is about us obtaining what we are hoping for. God is not a man that He would lie but His ways are not our ways so we won’t always understand how He plans to bring the promises to pass in our lives. Our part is to pray, trust Him and obey what He says.
For me, I have been living this scripture for the last few years. I have a promise in the Word of God for my family. My husband and I have been believing God for a baby for 7 years. God has confirmed to me on multiple occasions that He is bringing this promise to pass yet and still we walked through four miscarriages. Each and every time we were in faith, speaking the Word and believed the outcome would be different yet sadly we ended up with the same result…hope deferred. BUT GOD! Each and every time the precious Holy Spirit was right there, encouraging me to stay in hope and trust God’s timing.
We have to actively guard against doubt and discouragement. We have to choose to stay in hope and not give up on what God has promised. But at the end of the day, it is our choice. We can choose to let our emotions rule us or we can trust what God has said and stand on the Word of God which is a sure foundation. So, let’s be encouraged. He will never fail!!
Scriptures for encouragement in the seasons of waiting:
Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. Psalm 27:14
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9
And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. Hebrews 6:15
I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. Psalm 130:5