Proverbs 13:12- ” Hope deferred makes the heart sick. But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”
To quote a Jack Johnson song, “Losing hope is easy”. It is an unfortunate statement but it can be true for many people. Have you ever heard the expression, “when it rains, it pours”? Often times, this is what happens in life. Just when you think things could not get any worse, somehow they find a way to. Without a firm foundation in the Giver of hope, we can fall into hopelessness very quickly. And living hopeless is a scary place to be. So scary, that this passage in Proverbs tells us that it can make our heart sick.
Being sick is no fun. You feel terrible, you’re exhausted and usually sleep is lost. The same effects of physical sickness can be found when we lose hope. When our “heart is sick” because of hopelessness, we grow tired, become weary and lose a sense of purpose for our lives. Without hope in our lives, we will be sick. We will become pessimistic. We will become anxious and, eventually, depressed. This spiral is a dangerous place to live. And what is even scarier is that there are people we are around on a daily basis who feel hopeless. Who feel like there is no way out.
But what happens when hope flourishes? It produces a tree of life in us. We live with purpose and passion and are determined to get through the tough times. The obstacles and difficulties in life turn into stepping stones instead of walls. With hope, we have vision, we know our value and we live to share value with everyone. Each person walking on this planet has purpose. God does not make mistakes. If you are breathing today, you have something to offer this world.
When hope is lost, what do you do? I wrote in a previous blog about the key to a joyful life. And this key to joy is the same thing that will bring you out of the pit. It is thankfulness. If you want to have hope for your life again, you need to change your perspective. But you also need to change your company. “Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Cor. 15:33). If you are feeling hopeless, you need to shake things up. Hopelessness leads to seclusion. To avoid hopelessness, or to get out of it, you need to find quality people to surround yourself with (this is where the local church can help). If you are spending time with the same people and feel like you have no hope. Maybe it is time to cut the cord with those people.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick. But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” Hopelessness can be avoided and it can be altered. We are not subject to hopelessness. Hopelessness has to answer to us and to our Creator! It starts with you making the choice and saying “enough is enough”! It is sad to see people make permanent decisions based on temporary feelings. This can be prevented. And as Christians, we are called to give hope to the hopeless by sharing the One in whom our hope is found! Our God is a God of hope because He created purpose and good things. Yes, there will be tough times, but having the perspective and understanding of where your hope comes from will keep you, and those you walk with daily, out of the pit.
How are you sharing hope? What events in your life helped shape your hope? Hope is not wishful thinking and wanting something to happen. Hope is the expectation for something great to happen and then making choices showing this belief. You may not always make the right choice, but you have the power to make every choice right, and it begins and ends with hope. Find your hope, live it out and, most importantly, share your hope! There is a hurting world out there and people begging for hope. You have it, they need it. Don’t be selfish and don’t hoard it. Share it!