Proverbs 13:12 - Hope Deferred Makes The Heart Sick, But...

Proverbs 13:12 - Hope Deferred Makes The Heart Sick, But... 

Proverbs 13:12 (NIV) Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a 
longing fulfilled is a tree of life. 

Proverbs 13:12 (MSG) Unrelenting disappointment leaves you 
heartsick, but a sudden good break can turn life around. 


Solomon's Wise Sayings Proverbs 10:1-22:16
   The pithy sayings of Proverbs apply to moderns as well as to 
the Israelite of the ancient East. Billy Graham once said he read a 
psalm each morning to enrich relationship with God, and a chapter of 
Proverbs each evening to guide his dealings with his fellowmen. [The 
365-Day Devotional Commentary] 

Finding Wisdom
   A factory manager's assembly line was down, so he summoned a 
consultant to suggest remedies. After inspecting a huge piece of machinery, 
the consultant produced a small hammer, reached between some gears, 
and gave a small tap. The assembly line worked again, and the 
factory manager got a bill for $10,000. Aghast, the manager demanded 
another bill itemizing the charges. When it came, the second bill read: 
Tapping with hammer: $5.00; Knowing where to tap: $9,995.00. 
   Wisdom is "knowing where to tap." When we need some tapping 
done, we'll do it ourselves if we're wise enough; otherwise we'll need 
someone who knows where to tap. The book of Proverbs points us in both 
directions - by showing us "where to tap" in many areas of life, and by 
helping us seek out those who understand what we cannot yet perceive. 
The proverbs not only show us wisdom, they show us how to seek 
wisdom. [Quiet Time SB re ch.13, 14] 


HOPE -- confident expectancy. In the Bible, the word "hope" 
stands for both the act of hoping (Rom. 4:18; 1 Cor. 9:10) and the 
thing hoped for (Col. 1:5; 1 Pet. 1:3). Hope does not arise from the 
individual's desires or wishes but from God, who is Himself the believer's 
hope: "My hope is in You" (Ps. 39:7). Genuine hope is not wishful 
thinking, but a firm assurance about things that are unseen and still in 
the future (Rom. 8:24-25; Heb. 11:1, 7). 
   Hope distinguishes the Christian from the unbeliever, who has 
no hope (Eph. 2:12; 1 Thess. 4:13). Indeed, a Christian is one in 
whom hope resides (1 Pet. 3:15; 1 John 3:3). In contrast to Old 
Testament hope, the Christian hope is superior (Heb. 7:19). 
   Christian hope comes from God (Rom. 15:13) and especially His 
calling (Eph. 1:18; 4:4), His grace (2 Thess. 2:16), His Word (Rom. 
15:4) and His gospel (Col. 1:23). Hope is directed toward God (Acts 
24:15; 1 Pet. 1:21) and Christ (1 Thess. 1:3; 1 Tim. 1:1). Its 
appropriate objects are eternal life (Titus 1:2; 3:7), salvation (1 Thess. 
5:8), righteousness (Gal. 5:5), the glory of God (Rom. 5:2; Col. 
1:27), the appearing of Christ (Titus 2:13) and the resurrection from 
the dead (Acts 23:6; 26:6-7). [Nelson's illustrated Bible 


Hope deferred. There is a vivid contrast implied here. The sick 
heart has lost hope. The springs of energy and ambition have been 
sapped, leaving the man truly forlorn. But when a good hope is realized, 
life is renewed, strength and happiness are multiplied, as by the 
fruit of the tree of life (see ch. 11:30). 
   It may be that to some the long delay in the coming of the 
Lord has seemed like a deferred hope. But one who is ready for that 
coming and prays that it may be ushered in speedily has so close a walk 
with God that he is constantly experiencing the fulfillment of 
desires and the renewing of his confidence (see Gen. 5:22). [SDA Bible 

Hope deferred.
I. The Hope That Is Deferred. Most men who live to any purpose 
live by hope. It is scarcely possible to press forward with energy to 
a future that is wholly dark. The prospect of some future good is 
a present inspiration. Thus hope takes a large place in the heart 
of man. Note some of its forms. 
1. The hope of youth. It is natural for youth to believe in the 
future, to treat its possibilities as certainties, and to colour its 
grey outline with the gorgeous hues of a fresh imagination. 
2. The hope of this world. Pursuits of business or pleasure 
allure those who enter them with good promises. 
3. The hope of heaven. They who have been disappointed in all 
earthly anticipations may cherish this glorious dream. 
4. The hope that is unselfish. Hope need not be centred in 
personal pleasure. We may hope for a great cause, and hope to see some 
good effected, though by the sacrifice of ourselves. 
5. The hope that is in God. A sorrowful soul may hope in God 
with no distinct visions of any possible future advantage, making God 
himself the Hope. "Christ our Hope." 
II. How The Hope Is Deferred.
1. By disillusion. From the first the hope may be too sanguine. 
The mirage is mistaken for the oasis. Or perhaps distance is 
misjudged. We think that we are near to the future that still lies in the 
remote distance with leagues of desert between us and it. Experience 
must dispel such an illusion. 
2. By direct disappointment. The well founded hope may be 
deferred by a change of circumstances, or failure of ability to 
accomplish it, unfaithfulness to a promise, etc. Thus in life the expected 
"good time coming" is continually receding as men approach it. Hope 
may be deferred by trying changes of circumstances, or by a man's 
own mistakes and failures. 
III. Way The Heart Is Made Bitter. To be lifted up and dropped 
down gives a shock which is not felt if we remain on the low ground. 
Disappointment is a source of keen pain in any case; but when it is repeated 
after vague anticipations and uncertainties, it is far more 
distressing. The hope deferred is not denied. We cannot banish it as a 
mistake. Such an act would be easier to bear; there would be first a 
great shock of disappointment, and then the dead hope would be buried 
out of sight, and the grief of the loss of it would grow lighter 
with time. But when the hope is deferred, it is continually present, 
yet as a disappointment. The mind is first on the rack of wondering 
expectation, and then there follows a sense of unutterable weariness -- true 
heart-sickness. It is said that seasickness is produced by the sinking from 
beneath a person of the support on which he rests. The heart-sickness of 
a hope long deferred arises from a similar cause in the experience 
of souls. 
IV. How This Bitterness May Be Cured.
1. By the satisfaction of the hope. Long deferred, it may yet 
come. When we are most despairing the tide may turn. The heart-sick 
mother is startled with a sudden joy in the return of her long lost 
sailor lad when she is relinquishing the weary hope of ever seeing him 
2. By the rising of a new hope. If this may not be found in 
earthly experience, and the very mention of it sounds like treason to 
the faithful soul, it may indeed appear in higher regions of life. 
In the bitterness of earthly disappointment Christ's great hope may 
be received. 
3. By trusting in God. "Oh rest in the Lord, and wait patiently 
for him." The earthly hope may be deferred, disappointed, shattered; 
yet some soul-satisfying answer will be given to the prayer of 
faith. [The Pulpit Commentary] 

It was the grace of God which strengthened your faith amid all 
the heartsicknesses of hope deferred. Grace fortified you for the 
warfare and hardships, and brought you through conqueror. Grace taught 
you to pray, to love and trust, notwithstanding your unfavorable 
surroundings. {2T270} 


Adjust Your Attitude!
   When we get up in the morning, we have just so much energy. 
We can spend that energy creatively, seeking positive solutions, or 
we can spend it dragging ourselves down with negative thinking. 
Either way, we may still be tired at the end of the day. But in the 
first instance, we will have accomplished something and made progress. 
In the other, we will have plodded along and managed to make 
ourselves not only tired, but depressed as well! 
   Half the battle in solving problems is our attitude. We are 
not just pumping ourselves full of sunshine when we say, "Think 
YES!" How we think about a situation usually dictates the course we 
will take - and sometimes, when we get bogged down in all the tangle 
of detail, we need a friend who will help us think clearly about 
all aspects of the situation, refocusing our attention from the 
obstacles to the possibilities in striving for proper choices and desired 
goals. Gloria Gaither [Passages Of Life SB] 


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