12 “Hopes deferred make the heart sick; but when dreams come true at last, there is life and joy” (alt: “it is a tree of life.”) Proverbs 13:12 (The Living Bible)
Unfulfilled hopes make us feel sick inside. You could interpret Proverbs 13:12 as “Hope deferred is spiritual heart disease.” On the other hand, when our hopes become a reality we are full of joy. A dream come true fuels the life force within us.
Our Faith is inadequate without Hope. Hope is like a high-wire. Faith walks the high-wire of hope, bridging the gap between the unseen world of the spirit and the world which we can see.
1”Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. 3By faith we understand that the worlds [during the successive ages] were framed (fashioned, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose) by the word of God, so that what we see was not made out of things which are visible.” Hebrews 11:1, 3 (Amplified Bible)
Faith can only reassure us of “the things we Hope for.” It serves as proof of what we cannot see. By our faith we recognize as real fact what is not yet revealed to the senses. For example, faith enables our minds to accept as an absolute fact that the whole structure of time and space (the world which we can see) was set in motion by God through principles which are invisible to us. Wow!
Hope for the Hopeless
There is no shortage of hurts, sicknesses, troubles, financial woes, family problems, catastrophic issues and geopolitical concerns in our world today. People everywhere are losing hope and trust.
It is my opinion that our society suffers greatly as a result of misplaced trust and hopelessness.
Lost hope is frequently accompanied by a feeling of being on your own. When someone feels that they are all alone, it is difficult (if not often impossible) for them to find the way out of challenging situation. This leads to a flood of helplessness.
So what exactly is hope? HOPE is looking forward to a desire with confidence. When we have hope, we have an expectation that the things we hope for (and dream of) will one day be a reality. Hope enables us to find purpose and meaning in life. And when we add faith to our hopes (by putting our trust in God) our hopes gain substance.
Trusting in God is more than just asking blindly. Because we have hope, we place our faith in God expecting an answer from Him. Look at what happened to a miserable crippled man as recorded in the New Testament Book of Acts,
1-4”One afternoon Peter and John were on their way to the Temple for the three o‘clock hour of prayer. A man who had been lame from birth was being carried along in the crowd, for it was the daily practice to put him down at what was known as the Beautiful Gate of the Temple, so that he could beg from the people as they went in. As this man saw Peter and John just about to enter he asked them to give him something. Peter looked intently at the man and so did John. Then Peter said, “Look straight at us!” 5 The man looked at them expectantly, hoping that they would give him something. 6 “If you are expecting silver or gold,” Peter said to him, “I have neither, but what I have I will certainly give you; In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!” 7-11 Then he took him by the right hand and helped him up. At once his feet and ankle bones were strengthened, and he positively jumped to his feet, stood, and then walked. Then he went with them into the Temple, where he walked about, leaping and thanking God.” (Acts 3:1-11 Phillips)
Peter and John had supernatural ability working through them. They believed in the power of Almighty God without question. They also knew that His authority was with them.
Peter made sure that the lame man was paying attention. He said, “Look straight at us!” For his part, the lame man did two things. First, “he asked them to give him something.” Second, he looked at them “expectantly.”
It‘s amazing what can happen when we look in the right place and ask with expectation! Clearly the lame man was imagining he‘d get a few coins. But God doesn‘t offer momentary relief for our sufferings. He remedies them!
The bible also records details about the extraordinary life of a man named David. Throughout many difficulties and adversities, David would often remind himself not to lose hope.
Here are a few of David’s prayers to God:
- “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.” (Psalm 39: 7 NIV)
- “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42: 11 NIV)
- “Show me the path where I should walk, O LORD; point out the right road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.” (Psalm 25: 4, 5 NLT)
- “No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame,” Psalm 33: 18 NIV
- “But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,” (Psalm 25: 3 NIV)
- “Remember your promise to me, for it is my only hope.” (Psalm 119: 49 NLT)
Israel’s legendary King David expected God to keep His promises. That hope is what empowered him to trust God completely. Today, our hope is built upon the trust that we have in the one who came to reveal the truth about God and His plan of Salvation for mankind. He is called Jesus.
Knowing who Jesus really was when he visited this little water world – and who He is today – brings hope into your life and it keeps hope alive. Don’t go by your feelings. Your emotional state changes like the weather. People who live by their emotions are more prone to instability. No matter how miserable your existence may seem, there is hope. You may not be able to see or feel anything that causes you to believe this right now, but hope is there for you notwithstanding. “Hope is the anchor of your soul” (Hebrews 6:19)
God really wants you to be acquainted with Jesus – not as a religious figure – as a person. Jesus knows the way to God because He IS the way. He will show you truth and give you an amazing life! A life filled with HOPE!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29: 11 NLT)
What do you really need right now? Whatever it is, talk to God about it. You have direct access to Him because of and in the Name of Jesus.
Here is my prayer for you,
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
Joseph A. Cerreta, PhD., is a noted author, broadcaster, a popular Bible teacher and a rabbid Coastal Junkie ®
For additional information write to: Coastal Life Ministries, P.O. Box 1283, New Port Richey, Florida 34656