Proverbs 13:12 says,
“Hope differed makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”
I read this a few weeks ago, and it’s been back and forth in my mind ever since.
I think it sheds a lot of light onto the whole idea of the “American Dream.” Growing up in America was a privilege and blessing to say the least… but I have to admit, we don’t have all of the right ideas.
As I read this verse, my immediate thought was… “That’s it- that’s the American dream. Hope differed.”
We grow up wishing and hoping for the newest toys, the fastest times, the highest grades… and what do we do when we succeed in those goals? We make more. Later we want the nicest car, acceptance into the best college, the best figure. We want the best jobs, good looking spouses, kind friends, nice homes, and remodeled kitchens. And, after all of that… we want the cutest dressed kids, nicest school’s for our kids… only for them to repeat what we’ve already done. We’ve created a monster. It’s differing our hope to the next goal. It’s withholding our satisfaction until we get (fill in the blank).
As humans, we crave being filled. We crave the fullness of anything… happiness, bank accounts, love, joy, pleasure, healing, strength, or even different skills. These are not all bad things, in fact, a lot of these things are God given desires. Psalm 16:11 speaks directly of “fullness of joy” found in His presence.
The problem comes in when it steals our satisfaction…when these pursuits become the center our thoughts, decisions, and actions. They become our idols. We aren’t satisfied until we achieve or receive. We differ our hope and joy until the "next" thing... the problem- there is always a next thing.
As Christians, we’ve got to pull ourselves out of this monster cycle, and show the world that hope is here. It is now. We have got to look, act, and hope differently.
Hope is made complete in Christ.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 13:15
“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” Ephesians 1:17-23
“And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” 1 Corinthians 15:17-19
“Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will deliver us again.” 2 Corinthians 1:9-10
“Through Him (Jesus Christ) we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:2
“For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Romans 8:24-25
|Pretty sunrise from my balcony this week.|