Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.
Hope, that one little word on which we rest our faith, is often misunderstood to be a type of wishful thinking. Many times we hear people say, “I hope this happens”, or “I hope to be able to do such and such”. And yet Biblical hope is much more than wishful thinking. It is defined from the Greek word “elpis” as being “confident expectation based on a solid certainty.” Biblical hope rests on God’s promises as being the “solid certainty”. It is more than wishing something would happen; it is confidently expecting that which God has promised to come into existence.
A few years ago I was going to visit my children and while on the way my son called asking when we thought we would arrive. He said my little granddaughter had been standing at the window watching for us for a couple of hours. She knew that Grandma was coming because I had told her I would be there. She wasn’t just hoping I would come, but she based her hope on my word. That’s just a simple earthly example of how we should place our hope in what God has said in His word. His promises to us are more real than our promises to any earthly human being.
How many times have you been disappointed when you haven’t seen the manifestation of God’s promises in your life? Proverbs 13:12 says that when our hope is deferred, or not realized or experienced our heart becomes sick, but when it comes into manifestation it is a tree of life. While we are standing firm waiting on God’s promises to come into manifestation if we don’t keep ourselves full of hope we can become discouraged and heartsick over not seeing it happen. We must do something to keep hope alive!
I like to think of keeping hoping alive as being like a young woman with a “hope chest”. In my day as a young woman a “hope chest” was used to prepare for that woman’s future expectation of marriage. The “hope chest” would often be cedar lined to preserve material items that might need to be stored for some time and was usually placed in a special area in her bedroom. As time progressed she would fill the “hope chest” with items that she would need to begin her marriage. As she placed the items in the “hope chest” or opened it at times to just look at all that she had in it, she was filled with hope that her desire for a marriage would someday become a reality.
Hope is needed to endure until the promises of God are manifested. Abraham is a good example of one who stood strong while waiting for God to bring his promise of a son into existence. Romans 4:19 says that Abraham “contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations”, just as God had promised. Abraham knew that it was totally impossible for him and his wife, Sarah, to become parents in their old age, but God promised that He would give them a son and that Abraham would become the father of many nations, so he continued to hope and believe God until it happened. He did not consider the external road blocks that could hinder that manifestation; he just kept on believing!
Romans 4:19-21 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
Abraham had to keep his hope alive and through his relationship with God he was able to continue to believe that God would provide what He had promised.
How can we keep our hope alive? Well, it’s vitally important to get God’s perspective on what He has promised and to ask Him for scriptures that will further strengthen your hope. God visited Abraham several times during his 25 year waiting period with more assurance that the promise would come at the right time in order to help Abraham keep his hope alive. God will give you scriptures that you can place your faith in to build the hope of whatever it is that He has promised to do in your life. And just as that young woman places items in her hope chest to keep her hope alive so you can put those scriptural promises in your “hope chest” to keep the fire of hope burning brightly.
Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
God is the God of HOPE! He will give you peace and joy while you are standing in faith waiting for the promise to arrive. He wants you to abound in hope through His Spirit that lives within you. It is as you hope in Him that you will have a renewed vision of what He has promised. Place your trust in the Lord; He will not fail you! Agree with Him that what you are believing Him for will come into manifestation.
See yourself experiencing the promise! Proverbs 29:18 says that where there is no revelation, or vision, the people cast off restraint. If you cast off restraint you have no focus; nothing to motivate you to believe to receive what God has said He would do. A person without restraint runs to and fro, never focusing on any particular thing or purpose. Having a vision of yourself receiving what God has promised gives the motivation to keep hope alive.
Abraham declared the promise before it happened and continued to believe by seeing himself as God had proclaimed, a father even before he became one in the natural. Those things that happen in the spirit realm are much more real than what we see happening around us in the natural. God changed Abraham’s name from Abram, which means “Exalted Father” to Abraham, which means “Father of a Multitude”, before he had ever fathered a child. How could he become the father of a multitude without ever having his own child? Abraham could have resisted that and refused to see himself as God proclaimed and his hope would have died right there. But every time he introduced himself to someone he would hear himself say, “I am Abraham, the father of a multitude” and his hope and faith would be strengthened. Are you proclaiming what God has said about your situation or are you declaring what you see, feel, think or hear in the natural? Agreeing with God and proclaiming the promise will help keep your hope alive!
Hope builds on the dream of a future promise! Your “hope chest” should be filled with pictures of what you are believing God will do for you. Those things can be used to build and strengthen your hope and faith until God brings it into manifestation. Just as a young woman builds her hope through seeing and touching those things she places in her “hope chest” so your hope can be strengthened through the pictures and scriptural promises that God gives you of the fulfillment of His dream and promise for you.
Habakkuk 2:2-4 NKJV Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.”
God knows the exact time to bring the manifestation of His promises into your life. He is never early nor late, but always right on time. He tells Habakkuk to write the vision down so he who reads it can run. It’s difficult to run your race without a goal in sight. The vision of what God has promised is the goal that we see out front of us to give us the stamina to run, to endure until it happens. He promises that it will come and what we do with our hope determines how strong we stand while waiting.
Hebrews 10:35, 36 Therefore, do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.
This word “endurance” is the Greek word “hupomone). It means constancy, perseverance, continuance, bearing up, steadfastness, holding out, patient endurance. It describes the capacity to continue to bear up under difficult circumstances, not with a passive complacency, but with a hopeful fortitude that actively resists weariness and defeat.
Abraham had to have endurance to overcome all the negative comments that people would have made to him about believing God for the realization of His promise. He had to endure to the end to be able to receive what God had said. It was important for him to keep his confidence in God and your expectation of what God has promised you will also require that you do not cast your confidence away, but that you continue to hope in God’s faithfulness! He will fulfill that which He has promised!
Father, I thank You for the promises of God that are “yes and amen” in Christ Jesus to Your glory and honor! I thank You that we are able to receive from You all that You have promised in Your word and that You speak to us about through Your Spirit. Father, I pray this morning for those who may be growing weary as they stand in faith believing to receive that which You have promised. I pray that You will renew their vision of what You have said You would do in their lives. I ask You to strengthened their hope through Your word and by Your Spirit. Father, give them a renewed sense of fulfillment of that promise and fill them with hope. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.