The King's Gardeners Ministries

Reverend S. L. Gardner

Spokane, Washington US

- Hope Deferred Makes the Heart Sick -

"Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life" (Proverbs 13:12).

The word deferred in the Hebrew language (in which the Old Testament was originally written) means to delay, prolong, put off, withhold. The word sick in Hebrew means afflicted, weak, or put to grief.

Sometimes as we stand on the Word of God believing Him to do something for us, our hearts (spirits) can become weak, afflicted, or full of grief. When we are waiting for the situation to change and it has been long in coming, we can begin to feel discouraged and despondent. We can feel as if we are losing hope. If the devil can succeed in causing us to lose hope, then our faith will not work because ..."faith is the substance of things hoped for..." (Hebrews 11:1).

In order for us to have a manifestation of what God has promised, we must have faith, love, and hope working together as well as patience. (1 Corinthians 13:13; Hebrews 6:12; 10:36; James 1:1-4). If one of these is missing, we will not have a manifestation.

When we feel we are losing our hope and are becoming discouraged, we must remember that God is referred to as the ... "God of hope...". (Romans 15:13). If we will look to Him, He will comfort us, give us hope, and turn our weaknesses into strengths. We can never really become strong in the Lord until we come to the end of ourselves and really see how weak we are without Him. (Joel 3:10; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Ephesians 6:10-18; Hebrews 11:32-34; John 15:5). God will give us hope and comfort us in our tribulations if we will look to Him for comfort and strength.

When Paul was being taken to Caesar by ship, they encountered a great storm at sea. "Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up" (Acts 27-20). If you continue on reading through the chapter, you will see that the God of hope sent His angel to Paul to comfort him and strengthen him. In time, Paul was able to minister to the others.

No matter what you are going through right now, just remember that God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able to bear and will give you the way of escape. (1 Corinthians 10:11-13).

He will strengthen and comfort you as you look to Him. (Hebrews 13:5-6; 2 Corinthians 1:1-11; Psalm 271:14). Take time to read these scriptures. They will speak to your heart and bring forth comfort and hope.

One of the ways God comforts us and gives us hope is through His Word. (Romans 15:4-7). The other way is by His Spirit. (Romans 15:13).

Remember that to believers, the Holy Spirit is the Comforter. (John 14:26; 15:26).
The worst thing you can do when you are going through a time of feeling despondent is to stop going to church and to stop reading and listening to the Word. If you do that, Satan will surely defeat you. However, if you look to God, you will find a loving, compassionate God who will turn your weaknesses to strengths. (Isaiah 40:28-31).
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Rev. Al Horta

Irvington, New Jersey

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