“Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12
Deferred – to put off to a later time; prolong; delay
We live with a lot of hopes. I hope it’s gonna snow. I hope traffic isn’t bad. (And it always IS!!) I hope I get that raise. I hope God answers this prayer. I hope my children behave. (Ha!) We say that phrase, ‘I hope’ all day long. Most of the time what we hope for isn’t even plausible or possible. We just hope.
But when our hopes are wrapped up in our closest held dreams and plans and that hope is prolonged, we start wondering if it will really ever happen. When it’s delayed we can sometimes think our hope is really being denied. The longer our hope is put off, the more heartbreaking it can be.
I have been thinking a lot about hope lately. How can I hold onto hope even when it seems it is slipping through my fingers? And this is what I came up with.
“The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.”
Wait, what does that even really mean? My portion. I decided to look it up in webster’s first. And I was amazed that each part of the definition was what I have in Christ.
- An individual’s part or share of something, such as:
A.) A share received by gift or inheritance. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. I received that gift on July 29, 1997 and because of that, my inheritance will never fade away. It is reserved in Heaven for me. 1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
B.) Dowry, the money, goods or estate that a woman brings to her husband in marriage. Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. I am His bride. But all I have to offer Him, my dowry, was given to me by Him in the first place. So I don’t have to worry if it’s good enough. He took me as His own knowing I have nothing to offer. So He gave me what He has.
C.) Enough food, especially of one kind to serve one person at one meal. Read that again. Remember our first verse, He is our PORTION? Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. He is the bread of life. Everything I need, when I need it. He gives me just enough for each trial as they come. And it is always enough.
2. An individual’s lot, fate or fortune. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, 16-17 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him…For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. That is my lot, my fate, my fortune. My fate hung in the balance that day Jesus hung on the cross. And because HE was victorious, so am I. And one day, (ONE DAY!!!) I will EVER be with the Lord. That’s better than any fortune my finite little mind could ever dream up.
3. An often limited part of a whole. 1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. ‘I only have the puzzle’s edge, I see it incomplete. But I’m resting, knowing, God himself, holds every missing piece.’ Again, one day, I will know all the whys, all the reasons. And I will know HIM, my portion, in completeness.
The Lord has been showing me that yes, I need to have faith in what He can do. But my hope should be in Him, not what He can do. Because what if God doesn’t DO what I want Him to? There goes my hope. My hope should just be in Him. In who He is, not what He can do. Because He may never do what I’m hoping for.
And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.
I know David was in a different spot than I am here in this passage. But when I read it, I thought, “Well, Faith, what are you waiting for? Are you waiting until God answers you exactly how and when you want Him to before you’re just going to completely rest in Him? Are you going to keep putting your hope in what He can do, instead of who He is?”
I’ve seen Him move mountains for me. He’s parted waters. He’s slayed giants that were standing in my way. But when He goes silent and His hand stops moving, I begin to question. I begin to worry. I begin to lose hope.
I know what His power can do. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Unexplainable things. But whatever He chooses for me, my hope MUST be in Him alone. How does that make everything ok, though? If He chooses not to do what we want, how does our hope being in Him help? Because we have placed our hope in Who He is. We’ve placed our hope in His faithfulness. His sovereignty. His plan for our good. His knowledge of the future. His love. We can never be disappointed in those. Because when our hope rests in Him, we can trust in knowing that what He does or doesn’t do is best. That He is in control. He will never once surrender or lose that control.
So today, whatever God chooses to do with your hopes, rest in Him. Hope in Him.
That hope will never be misplaced.
Words and music ©️ Faith York 2019