Proverbs 13:12 ESV, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”
Every time I read this verse, it makes me realize just how important it is for us to have hope. The Bible says that without hope, our hearts will become sick. Having hope is easiest when we feel things are progressing in our favor. But when things are bleak, maintaining a hopeful outlook can be a real challenge. I know for me, I sometimes wonder why God is taking so long. But I know I must remember that His ways are far beyond my understanding (Isaiah 55:8-9).
It always feels good when what we are hoping for manifest. But what about when we’re hoping and hoping and hoping and we still don’t have answers? Should we give up on hope? Based on Romans 12:12, the answer is No.
Romans 12:12 NIV, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
We should joyfully keep on persisting in hope and be patient and prayerful, even when we don’t yet see the resolution that we are waiting for. When we place our hope in Christ, He will not disappoint us. Whatever happens in our lives, will be according to His perfect will.
Romans 5:5 NASB, “and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
I love the words to this hymn, “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”, written in 1834 by Edward Mote…
“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.
When darkness hides His lovely face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.”
Even on our darkest days, we still have the option to place our hope in Christ Jesus. Nothing is beyond His power. There are many stories in the Bible of those who persevered in hope to encourage us. But one of my favorites is in 1 Kings 17:8-24 about Elijah and the Widow.
Long story short, she and her son were planning to eat their last meal and die (talk about hard times). But when Elijah came along, she still mustered up enough hope and faith to follow the instructions He gave her from the Lord. This resulted in her having food for herself and her family. She never again ran out.
I pray God will strengthen you to keep hoping, keep praying, and keep believing.
I would love to hear about your experiences with maintaining hope in the comments.