Lesson 235 - HOPE TAKES PATIENCE— DON’T GIVE UP! (Proverbs: The "Get Smart Book")
By Frank Eiklor and the Shalom Team
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12
I love this verse because it calls me to patient waiting for many of God's answers to my prayers—rather than to the "I want it now!" American way of life. There are many ways God uses "deferred hope" to grow us spiritually. We're "saved by hope" (Romans 8:24); that is, trusting Christ without seeing Him until the day we behold His glorious face and our long-kept desire becomes a dream come true.
We must often hang in there through hope after praying for lost loved ones but seeing no positive evidence of change. Or perhaps you feel the Lord's call on your life, but present circumstances keep you tied to your job. Or you long for a godly mate but feel trapped by a lengthening wait - with no hope in sight.
Whatever hope you hold that refuses to materialize, don't blow it by giving up. First, test that "hope" to see if it has a scriptural foundation. For example, you know God wants to save your loved ones. Keep praising until the answer comes. You know He wants to use your life, so let Him start now where you are, and He will move you where you should be.
As to a godly mate, He may give you one in two years or twenty years - or He may satisfy you with such a desire for Him that you need no one else. Perhaps He is sparing you from a puzzling epitaph on a woman's grave: "Lived with her husband for 50 years and died with hope of a better life."
Check out the hopes you harbor deep in your soul. If you sense they receive the Holy Spirit's approval, hold them fast, no matter the test of time. Those hopes will turn out to have been seeds that took time to grow into beautiful trees of life.
My prayer: "Make me like Abraham, oh my Father, who, after receiving your promise, learned to hope on even when all human hope was gone. You came through for him, and I trust You to fulfill Your desires in me."
"Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ" (I Corinthians 11:1)
The ST. PAUL SCHOOL, with Frank Eiklor, Eileen Young and Cecilia Contreras