“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12 ESV)
I’ve been contemplating disappointment and discouragement a lot lately. Not only has my pastor been preaching on the subjects, but I have been feeling a lot of both of those emotions recently. As I was studying today, I came across Proverbs 13:12 and started thinking about the words hope and desire and expectation.
The writer of Proverbs is stating that if the thing you desire is not obtained in the time expected you will be left disappointed. But if and when the object of desire does arrive, new life is breathed into your heart and soul.
So the question becomes, “What is it that you are desiring or expecting?” The Bible is clear that the things of this world are disappointing and temporal. Let’s take money for instance. Wealth does not satisfy and once one reaches a certain level, another level is desired.
When we place our hopes in the things of this world we will be miserable because our expectations lie in things that will never satisfy. But those who hope in God will most certainly be satisfied. Scripture is clear that those who call themselves children of God should not hope for much from this world, this world is sure to disappoint, but we should hope for much from the world that is to come.
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:1-4 ESV)
When discouragement sets in we are called to remind ourselves to hope in God as David did in Psalm 42.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” (Psalm 42:5 ESV)
So as I am constantly praying for my own heart to not be discouraged and to hope in God; I gain great comfort from the words of Jesus from John 16. My prayers is that you will as well.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 ESV)