“Hope deferred makes the heart sick; but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12
“Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
These two Scriptures have been on my heart for over eight years now, however I never connected them until yesterday during praise & worship at my church’s women’s ministry. The worship leader sensed that many of the women had lost their dreams & hope, and as a result they were sick. Immediately these two Scriptures came to my mind; in particular for marriages. I perceived that many woman had lost hope in their marriages and their situation looked dead.
Eight years ago, I was one of those women. I was separated from my husband and in divorce proceedings. It looked like their was no hope; our marriage was dead and I was “sick” emotionally and physically. However, during that process, I choose to focus on having a deep, intimate relationship with the Lord, one like I had never experienced. I began delighting myself (depending upon and taking pleasure) in discovering who God really is through His Word and being in His presence through prayer and praise/worship, and He began to put in my heart the desires He had for me. My focus became Matthew 6:33 which says to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you”.
When I sought to know God intimately and realized my identity in Christ was one of righteousness, I was able to have a confident expectation of good (hope), no matter what my circumstances looked like. Instead of hoping in my husband or circumstances changing, I desired to change to be the woman God designed me to be, and to have all of my expectation in Him. As a result, I changed, my husband observed those changes and desired to change as well, and we ended the divorce proceedings and reconciled after 5 months. Glory to God!
The Hebrew meanings for “hope” described in Prov. 13:12 means a longing; desire; pleasant; delight; and for the word “desires” mentioned in Ps 37:4 is petitions and requests. Hope and expectation are interchangeable in Proverbs 10:28 & 11:7. Bible hope brings life when it is from God and is realistic. It’s seeing on the inside our your heart what you cannot on the outside with your natural eyes. It will sustain your soul in the midst of trials to keep you focused and be able to wait patiently on the Lord. When my expectation was taken off people and situations (including myself and efforts), and put solely in the Lord, my soul was able to rest and not be sick. I trusted and delighted myself in the Lord and He changed the desires of my heart to be in alignment with His. He gave me the real life I desired and then redeemed our dead marriage!
5 “My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. 6 He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. 7 In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God. 8 Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” Psalm 62:5-8 (emphasis mine)
I want to encourage you, that matter what you are going through, there is hope! In God’s presence you can be refreshed, renewed and hope will be reborn. He is concerned with every detail of your life. Will you seek to know Him intimately? He is faithful and is working tirelessly on your behalf. Trust and delight yourself in the Lord today, and cast all of your care onto Him, because He cares for you and loves you unconditionally!