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The Joys of Art

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Joys of hope and healing

He Loves me--Kirk Franklin

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick...."

The parable of the talents reveals to us the sad consequences of not trusting God when He’s been generous to us. Precisely because the Lord is not a “harsh taskmaster,” He fully understands that there is suffering in living with deferred hopes. We can read His compassion in Proverbs 13:12 — “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” God’s Word recognizes how difficult it is to live with unfulfilled expectations. But this proverb simply notes the obvious. We can find the remedy for our sick hearts in what I call the “chain of hope” in Romans 5:3-6: “[W]e rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” (Emphasis added.)

As we persevere in doing good, we find the endurance to continue by the grace of God. This perseverance produces that noble character in us, and noble character produces hope. Hope doesn’t put us to shame because we are hoping in a God who has shed His blood for us and poured His love into our hearts!

What we find here in Romans is that years of waiting on God should produce more hope, not less. Is that an upside-down thought to you? It’s certainly not the way we would rationally think about hope. Waiting on God often shifts the content of our hope. As we wait, we see the many ways He proves His faithfulness to us — starting with the Cross and ending with the bright promise of heaven — and all the big and little mercies in between. That vista of grace can’t help but dwarf the outstanding request we have before God!

The tension we experience is in the gap between our prayers and our circumstances. We have a desire, yet it seems that in God’s infinite purposes it is better that we wait on this desire to be fulfilled. It may be that we wait a certain time or that we wait indefinitely, finding out as we go that His grace truly is sufficient to sustain us. Either way, we can trust God with our desires because He is the perfect embodiment of steadfast loving-kindness and tender mercies to us. How do I know this, you might ask me in return? This is how He describes Himself throughout His Word — found in our infallible, live-giving, promise-infused Bibles.


  • Wait on the Lord and be of good courage...Oh wait on the Lord and be of good courage...Wait on the Lord and be of good courage...He will strenghten thy heart....

    By Blogger Sharon, at Sunday, August 20, 2006 12:47:00 AM  

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