Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick…” (NLT). My husband has been trying to figure out the next steps God wants him to take in his career. An exciting opportunity came up but then things shifted and it seemed uncertain. He told me, “I got discouraged and I thought about the verse that says hope deferred makes the heart sick. That’s so true. My heart felt sick. But then,” he said, “God spoke to my heart and He said, ‘It depends on what your hope is in. If your hope is in earthly things like your career or your circumstances, then that hope will eventually be deferred, and your heart will feel sick. But if your hope is anchored in Me, it will never be deferred. And you will not be crushed.” And that is so true. God illustrates this in Scripture over and over, but one of my favorite verses is Romans 5:5 which says, “And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love” (NLT). If we set our hopes on earthly pleasures or outcomes they will, at some point, be deferred. But if we set our hope on God and His goodness, we will stand firm. We will not be tossed back and forth like drift wood on the waves.
Does this mean we should slap a plastic smile on our face or feel ashamed if we're hurting? No. Things happen outside of our control. Things that hurt us deeply. It is not a sin to grieve. Jesus Himself grieved multiple times in the Scriptures. But as Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 4:13, because of what Jesus Christ accomplished for us on the cross and the hope we have in Him, we might grieve, but we "do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope" (NLT). Question: What are you hoping in today? 1 Peter 2:6, “ … The one who trusts in him will never be put to shame” (NIV). Romans 10:11, “The scripture says, "Whoever believes in him will not be disappointed" (GNT). Joshua 21:45, “Not a single one of all the good promises the LORD had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything he had spoken came true” (NLT). Hebrews 6:18-19, “So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary” (NLT).