Proverbs 13:12, Hope deferred maketh the heart sick; but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
Anyone with blood flowing through his or her veins knows what it is to be heartsick.
All of us at one time or the other have experienced this.
It is an experience shared by all who think and breath!
To be heartsick is to be pained in mind.
It means to be deeply afflicted or depressed.
This proverb instructs us plainly how the heart can be made sick.
It has to do with delays in the realization of our hopes.
Children experience this often because they are usually not in control but must wait on an adult to act on their behalf.
Mama announces that a new bike is forthcoming.
Mama's announcement has justly caused hope to be born in the child.
Cannot Mama's word be trusted? Isn't there a basis for hope?
So because of Mama's word hope springs joyfully in the heart of the child at first but just put off getting that bike, just defer that bike, just delay in getting that bike and the child will be heartsick.
Joy will be turned to mourning in the heart of the child because excessive delays are taking place.
The child's pleasure is turned to pain because the bike was promised but the bike is not here.
In the same way hunger makes the meal more enjoyable, but hunger not satisfied is nothing but pain, and so is hope deferred!
Many times in this world hope is misplaced.
Hope is based only on man's word or simply based upon wishing that events will come out all right.
The world's definition of hope is "a feeling that what is wanted will happen." I want it so it will happen!
Worldly hope is more like a wish, it is a superstition.
There is not a foundation for worldly hope.
It is usually a baseless optimism or a vague yearning or wish for something that is not necessarily attainable.
But the hope of this proverb is satisfied.
The desire comes and we are told that it brings a tree of life.
The hope of this proverb speaks of a hope based upon the spiritual world, because hope based upon this physical world does not bring a tree of life.
The hope of this proverb is a Biblical hope.
A hope built on confidence that what God has done for us in the past, guarantees our participation in what God will do for us in the future.
Do we not sing: My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus name.
On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand!
Biblical hope is hope built upon a solid rock!
Heb 6:19 tells us that Biblical hope is an anchor of the soul.
Biblical hope is that which causes the soul to be stable and fixed on the object of Jesus Christ.
Biblical hope is not a hope that wishes for something like that of the world's hope.
Biblical hope has a basis for hope to be realized.
A Christian's hope is a solid hope because it has as a foundation confidence in the promises of Almighty God.
And that confidence is sure because of the revelation of God by the word of God.
It is a genuine hope because it is founded on someone who deserves all confidence in its fulfillment.
Christian hope will be realized because God is the basis of all that is hoped for.
In order to have biblical hope you must know the Bible God.
You must know what he has done, you must know his saving acts, his unlimited power, and his faithfulness in carring out his promises.
You must know what he has done in the past and project that same God into your future and know that he will perform all he says he will perform because of what he has done already.
He will keep his promises in the future because he has kept all his promises in the past.
A Christian's hope is built on the word of God, the firm foundation which guarantees that hope will be realized.
It is not a vain hope. It is not a stress producing hope like the world's hope.
It is a comforting hope as the Psalmist reminds us in:
Psalm 119:49,50, Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.
The Bible tells us not to put our hope in wealth, houses, princes, empires and armies or even the Temple in Jerusalem.
God, and God alone, is the rock that cannot be moved and a refuge and fortress who provides ultimate security.
He is to be our only real hope because he is the only one who has laid the foundation that cannot be moved.
All other foundations upon which people build hope are laid on shifting sands.
The kind of hope the world offers will be disappointed because it is based upon created things instead of the creator of the things.
The child hopes for the bike but that hope is built on his Mother's word which is not a sure word like the word of God!
The world hopes for peace but it rejects the prince of peace.
The world's hope for peace is a baseless hope, it is a wishful hope, it is an unscriptural hope.
Did not Jesus Christ say that we shall have wars and rumors of wars.
America declares war on poverty but Jesus Christ told us that the poor will always be with us.
The world offers hope without basis.
God offers hope with all the power of Almighty God behind it.
The world wants us to abound in hope but the world's hope is hopeless. It sings "My hope is built on nothing."
It has no basis except wishful thinking and man's energies.
The kind of hope that God gives is the kind of desire that will come.
There is no doubt in God's hope.
We do not hope to be transformed into his likeness without basis.
We do not hope for the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ without seeing that promise in
We do not hope to acquire possession of the inheritance and experience the resurrection of the body on some vague evidence.
We do not hope for a home in heaven without knowing that Jesus Christ has gone there to prepare a place for us.
We do not hope for righteousness without knowing of eternity and eternal life that is promised in God's word to his children.
We do not hope for a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness simply because it sounds so nice and won't it be wonderful?
No! My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness!
My hope is built on solid rock!
When our desire comes, when our hope is realized we shall partake of the tree of life.
We may have heartsickness because of deferral but when our hope comes it comes with the refreshing fruit of the tree of life.