Proverb 13:12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
In First Corinthians 13:13 hope is listed along with faith and love as one of the three great abiding forces of life. No one can live a successful Christian life without each of these. Hope is extremely important because every one of us need to view our future with the expectation and anticipation of something good not with the dread of something bad. Viewing the future in positive, optimistic, and in favorable terms is not wishful thinking or mind over matter. It is what the force of hope from one of God’s promises can do in us. Hope is God’s force of eternal optimism or Heaven’s Optimistic Pictures Encouraging us. Bible hope can create a new and optimistic picture inside of us. This hope is available to every believer to give them a picture of a better future.
I want to encourage you today about facing hopeless situations. Our God is not only a God of faith and love but also a God of hope. What is a hopeless situation? Hopeless situations show no sign of a favorable outcome. They seem impossible to solve and deal with. There is usually no natural basis or sign to be encouraged about. All signs say no way, no how. Hopeless situations are when you have no confident or favorable expectation or desire springing up. You have no desire or drive any more. The thrill of life is gone. You are not excited, ignited, or motivated and there is no energizing going on inside of you but only drain. We may even feel sick inside. Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick….” We shouldn’t think that “sick” is speaking of just physical sickness. Sick can mean we are feeling or experiencing:
1. DISCOURAGEMENT: disheartened; no longer bravely or courageously wanting to face the dangerous, difficult and painful. Instead you withdraw and refrain.
2. DESPAIR – to lose or give up hope, to be in utter loss of hope; feeling dejected.
3. DESPONDENCY – low spirit and sense of futility about continuing ones efforts. I give up.
4. DEPRESSION – intense sadness including feeling helpless, hopeless, and worthless that lasts for many days to weeks and keeps you from functioning normally.
I want you to know that God can cause hope to abound in your heart by His Word and by the power of the Holy Ghost (Romans 15:4, 13). It can lift you by its power out of discouragement, despair, despondency, and depression. Bible hope (the hope and light that comes from a Scripture, promise, or the Spirit of God revealing something to us) will work in us to encourage us AGAINST natural hope or what the natural facts of a situation seem to be saying to us.
Romans 4:18 says of Abraham, “Who AGAINST HOPE BELIEVED IN HOPE, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.” In Abraham’s case all natural hope was gone (Romans 4:13-23). The natural information said his body was dead and Sarah’s womb is also dead so there was no sign of a favorable outcome. Every sign said no way can you have a child. The promise of God came and said he would be the father of many nations. He could have hope based on spiritual information that he decided to believe AGAINST the natural information. Bible hope works even when natural information is AGAINST us. The Bible tells us we can walk in the same steps of faith as our father Abraham Romans 4:12. That means we can have hope AGAINST what natural information tells us. Face the natural facts of a hopeless situation with the facts of God’s Word.