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.
INTRODUCTION & OVERVIEW
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]
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]
DEFINITION & WORD STUDY
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
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
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
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
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]
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT:
Importance of Choice:
Seeking God Video Clip: http://vimeo.com/31489782
Prophecies Decoded Sermon Series: