When someone says, “I have good news and bad news,” which do you want to hear first? I usually vote for the bad news, thinking it’s better to get it over with and end on a happier note.
(You could also make a solid case for starting with the good news, so you can handle whatever follows…)
In this week’s proverb, the hard truth comes first. Hope seems almost lost. Our hearts are nearly broken. Then, in the fullness of time, according to God’s plan, good news. No, great news.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12
It’s been a hard winter for many of us. Not just the endless snow and ice, not just the frigid temperatures and high heating bills. It’s also been a season of job hunts that lead nowhere and health challenges that aren’t improving and family issues that won’t go away.
Our Lord Jesus understands what “unrelenting disappointment” (MSG) feels like and “delayed hope” (GW) looks like. He knows that “not getting what you want” (CEV) is frustrating and discouraging. He realizes that when hope is “postponed” (VOICE), “prolonged” (YLT), or “put off” (NIRV), we need something to hang on to.
Something bigger than hope.
Something deeper than desire.
Something immovable. Something sure.
So, the Lord wants us to hang on to him. That’s what he’s waiting for: the moment when we come to the end of ourselves, our plans, our dreams, and at last begin to realize our hope is found only in him.
“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope” (Psalm 130:5).
We put our hope in God’s spoken, written, printed Word and all the wisdom, promises, and truth it contains.
We put our hope in God’s character and the ways he reveals it through what he has already said and what he has already done.
We put our hope in God’s Son, his living Word: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
One of our online sisters, Anna, chose Proverbs 13:12 as her favorite because she clung to it while waiting for their daughter’s adoption to be finalized, a process that took four long years. Not weeks, not months—years.
Anna was not alone during those years of waiting. God was with her and his Word was with her. Sustaining her during the shadowy days. Strengthening her when nothing seemed certain.
…makes the heart sick,…
True fact: we don’t always feel strong in the midst of that long and difficult time of waiting. “When hope is crushed, the heart is crushed” (GNT), so much so it not only “makes you sad” (ERV), it can also “make you feel sick” (CEV).
We moan inwardly or cry outwardly, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?” (Psalm 42:5). Disappointment “grieves the heart” (VOICE) and “tormenteth the soul” (WYC).
Those who’ve experienced that level of emotional and spiritual pain know how the body often suffers too. Head throbbing. Stomach twisting. Muscles aching.
Your heartsickness is real. So is the remedy, found in the balance of this verse: “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 42:5).
“Yet” means it’s never too late to praise him. This very minute our praise can begin to rise from our lips and ascend to the heavens.
Praise him in the midst of the heartache, the psalmist urges us.
Trust him as your One True Hope, even when hope is waning.
Then the winter of our discontent will finally end, and joy will come bursting through.
…but a longing fulfilled…
Call it a “wish” (CEV), a “dream” (TLB), a “desire” (ASV). When it “comes into being” (NLV), gladness floods our soul and healing fills our bones.
How did I ever doubt? we ask ourselves, unable to keep from smiling and shaking our heads in wonder.
We doubt because we are human.
We believe because he is divine.
To move from doubt to belief requires a leap of faith, which often looks less like leaping and more like waiting, trusting, and praying.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14
blessed is the one who trusts in you. Psalm 84:12
Hear my prayer, Lord;
let my cry for help come to you. Psalm 102:1
Oh, the fruit of that waiting, trusting, and praying!
…is a tree of life.
This is what happens when we hang onto hope, when we don’t lose heart: fruit. A whole tree filled with vital food for our souls.
It was winter where these grapefruits were growing. So it’s not about the season—it’s about the sunshine, about the heat, about planting in the right soil. Hope grows in a heart made fertile by God’s Word, refreshed by his living water, warmed by the light of his love, every season of the year.
When our prayers are answered and our needs our met, it’s “like eating fruit from the tree of life” (NCV). All at once “life is full and sweet” (VOICE).
The Hebrew phrase for this “tree of life” is ets chayyim—yes, the same words we find in Genesis 2:9. Here in Proverbs the meaning has grown to include a full life—mental and emotional, moral and spiritual—that lasts forever.
Anna has tasted the fruit of that tree. Her adopted daughter “is now a beautiful, talented, funny eleven-year-old.” The joy this family shares was surely worth the many years of waiting and worrying and wondering.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12
Now it’s your turn
- What are you longing for? And how might you put your hope in God?
Kindly respond via Post a Comment below. When we share our burdens, we often find they grow lighter. You can be sure I’ll be praying as I read each one.
Especially for those of us who are memorizing each verse (or trying!), here’s your Printable of Proverbs 13:12. You’ll also find the verses we’ve studied so far on Pinterest.
Holding you close to my heart this week.
Your sister, Liz
P.S. Might we meet for a LIVE webcast on Tuesday, March 18 at 12noon ET? We’ll be hanging out on Facebook via Livestream and celebrating the release of Mercy Like Sunlight—my contemporary, fictional take on Mary Magdalene’s biblical story. I’ll reveal some insider info about the novella, share Mary Magdalene’s story from Scripture, serve up Mary Margaret Delaney’s Irish Soda Bread, and—the best part of all—answer your questions online. Ask anything you like! It’ll be a fun, fast 30 minutes, I promise. Just pop on my Facebook page March 18.
I praise God this morning for His Word and your thoughts and for Anna’s testimony. My husband and I have waited 10 long years for a child and 3 years for an adoption. Waiting, trusting, and praying have been constants in our home. You don’t know how these words brought healing this morning and hope.
What a faithful God we serve, Christy, to meet us where we are with just the words we need. Bless you for sharing a bit of your journey. Joining you in prayer this morning.
I woke up with the thought of what if I’m in this alone and my faith is wishful thinking? My next thought was, I need to get in the Word. I also remember the still, small voice whispering in my mind “TRUST” back when our heart sickening trial began over 8 months ago. I hold on to that and every promise I read in the Bible. I have no control over the troubles I face, but if I focus on Him and remember and believe He is in control I find peace.
How like our God, to tug you away from doubt and toward his truth, Tammy. Praying for you this morning. Praying for that focus on Christ and the peace he brings.
Great encouragement today for my heart. I’m waiting on God’s direction for ministry and livelihood – these Abraham moments when God says “Go” but says not where are heart-sickening kind of deferments. BUT God! My hope is in Him, He is my portion, and He is enough to sustain me even while I wait. And wait. And wait. And it is in this waiting that I draw even closer to His presence, His voice, His heart. And therein lies the gift. So worth it. Love you, Lizzie. Keep ’em coming. Loving these Proverbs! And I love you!
Oh, Robyn, you have truly captured the value of waiting, waiting, waiting: “It is in this waiting that I draw even closer to His presence, His voice, His heart.” Yes, yes, YES!
Good morning Liz. I always love to read your posts. Thank you. My longing is for my adult grandchildren, 2 of them, to surrender their lives to Jesus. They both say they are saved but are living lives to the contrary. My hope is in Jesus and I will never give up praying for them and loving on them.
Sometimes the believing comes first, then the living-out follows a bit after. Grateful they are at least claiming Christ as their Savior. We can trust the Holy Spirit to gently but firmly convict. Our job is to love and encourage. And REJOICE when the light breaks through the darkness.
Hi Liz- How comforting and encouraging your words are to me this morning! And the bountiful truths found in God’s word lift me up. I am waiting to find out if my son, who’s a senior in high school, has made it onto a ministry team at Liberty University. It is his heart’s desire to serve the Lord through the talents God has given to him. I am praying, trusting and beiieving! Thank you for your prayers!
Oh, Angela, now you have ALL of us waiting to hear the outcome! Whatever the decision, it will be God’s very best plan for your dear son. ANYwhere he serves, you son will be serving the Lord.
Liz thank you so much for the encouragement this morning. I so needed Psalm 130:5. My prayer is for my husband to be back in full time ministry at our church. He now does another full time job and pastors our church full time as well. God has gifted him as a teacher/pastor and my prayer is that this could be the only full time job. God bless you as you minister to so many,.
We’re with you, Kathy. The apostle Paul, who served as both teacher and tentmaker, would certainly understand the challenge of trying to do two jobs well (“because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them” Acts 18:3). Praying God will reveal his will and give your husband an added measure of strength in both his important roles.
Liz, thank you for your encouraging words. God reminded this morning to get on the computer to read your email. Our family has been suffering financially paying two mortgages. We left our home in Indiana on the market in June, 2013. Having been born and raised there our whole lives, God led us to a new career for my husband in Lubbock, TX. He lost his job in healthcare in Indiana. Our home still hasn’t sold. I am pleading daily with God to please send the right buyer. It is a hard thing to wait on the Lord, but He reminded me this morning as I was praying in the shower, He has and will always be faithful in my life! I have learned to daily praise Him for my many blessings, and then I find the stresses of life “grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace,” (taken from Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus). Thank you, Lord!
I know many of our sisters and brothers are nodding in sympathy and agreement, Holly. So many houses on the market for far too long. I thank the Lord that he is clearly ministering to you through this stressful time, reminding you of a truth we all need to grasp: HE IS FAITHFUL.
P.S. Comforting to know that you, too, pray in the shower. I figure it’s the perfect prayer closet: we end up cleansed inside and out!
This is just perfect for me in so many ways. I know God created the seasons and weather for His divine reason but I live on a ridge in Pennsylvania and have seen so much snow this winter. Now the trees are budding and I hear birds again. On top of that, my father has some medical issues. Last October, he was told he has cirrhosis of the liver; he doesn’t drink but liver damage is a side effect of many of his medications. The doctor wanted to do a biopsy to assess the severity. That wasn’t done until two weeks ago. He got the results yesterday. It is no longer full blown cirrhosis. Now it has been reclassified as fatty liver and can be controlled with diet and exercise. And prayer. A long winter of waiting has come to a glorious end. Praise the Lord!
Hooray for the end of winter, in so many ways, Jaime. Thanks for sharing your answered prayer.
Praise to the Lord who has held me in his hand with my head above the water, financially these last months. I pray he continues to pour out his mercy on me. To him be the glory!
Thank you for this post. After feeling verbally crushed yesterday, having sickening knots in my stomach last night, and waking up this morning not able/willing to pray ’cause I was upset that God had “allowed” all this to happen, this Proverb, and your message, were just what was needed….The Lord speaks…..and it’s my job not only to listen and recognize His voice, but to keep it , via the Holy Spirit, with me at all times.
You are so right, Linda: we can’t hope to live out his Word on our own steam. The Holy Spirit prompts, guides, corrects, reminds, fills: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
Thank you, Liz, for showing how well the Psalms and Proverbs go together. We get the principle and wisdom from one and the comfort from the other. I have a teen who has struggled with an eating disorder and depression and can deal with strong emotions through self-harm. As these are not issues that are usually resolved overnight, there has been a lot of waiting. Sometimes I’m good at it, sometimes not…but I am choosing, as you said above, to focus on God’s character. He gives the long-term perspective and when my eyes are on Him, they are less focused on our problems. Psalm 145 has been a big encouragement this week. I will focus on the Lord’s majestic, glorious splendor and his wonderful miracles!
Karla, what a bright woman you are, pointing out the wisdom found in Proverbs and the comfort found in Psalms. I’ll keep that in mind for future posts, simply because, on their own, some Proverbs can sometimes seem overwhelming. “Always do WHAT?” “Never do THAT?” Including a word from the Psalms–many written by Solomon’s father, David–can give us the courage and strength to say, “Yes, by God’s power alone, I can do that.”
And thank you for sharing about your daughter. Many of us understand the situation very well. Praying for you and yours.
Your words were so needed today. For the first half I felt as if God was speaking directly to me, through you. Thank you for your faithfulness.
Please pray for our family, as we are struggling with our foster daughter. After three years she has voiced the desire to move out and back into terrible circumstances. We pray for her salvation, her safety, and harmony in our family. We do not know what tomorrow holds, but still we HOPE.
Honored to pray for you, Heather. “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope…” 2 Thessalonians 2:16
Liz, Thank you for the encouragement. This was a timely reminder right now. Blessings dear sister!
Saw yu for first time in Mt. Vernon and loved every minute!! I am new to Twitter but want to join…I need your encouragement. .what a blessing you are. have health problems and want prayers. I am 82 years young….perhaps on the last journey of my life here on earth
Blessed to have you with me in Ohio last weekend, Yvonne. As you know, our journeys here are but a fleeting shadow compared to the glorious future God has for us. Aging is hard on our bodies, that’s certain. We can be just as sure that our forever bodies will be healthy and pain-free. So eager for that, and I know you are too!
I am in the process of a long wait for our daughter to be healed from a divorce. I can tell healing is taking place, but….I still wait. My daily Bible reading and devotions make my hope in God stronger, and I also am learning how to trust. I get annoyed with my human – ness and the ups and downs of this road we’re on, but I am learning how to be a more patient soul as I hope in and trust in our God!
“Trust” is certainly our word this week, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing, Bonnie.
Liz Curtis Higgs I love you! Oh how God is using you. This post could not have came at a better time. We have been praying and wondering and crying out to God for 10 years to adopt. Yesterday we got a glint of the door finally opening a peep! Thank you for your words. Love this verse and will hide it in my heart as well. If you wouldn’t mind praying that this is His timing in this adoption and that His will be done! We only want to honor Him!
Rejoicing over that open door, praying it will swing WIDE open soon, Tammy!
Thank you for your timely words. My husband and I sit waiting for the Lord to open the door for us to once again pastor. We have been waiting for almost 3 years and find ourselves living with our grown children and their families because of depleted finances. It has been very difficult to understand why and how this has taken so long for the Lord to open that place of His calling. There is so much more to our life story concerning why and how we find ourselves where we are at this time. Suffice it to say we both had read and believe the many verses of Scripture you shared today. We covet prayers from other believers as we continue to seek His will. I look forward to your posts and encouragement each day. Thank you Liz!!
God’s timing is always perfect! A troubling situation within a relationship bubbled to a head last night. The term “unrelenting disappointment” says it all and my mind and body are truly ill, but God’s Word was right in front of me when I opened my e-mail today. So much heartache but God already knows all about it. God bless you Liz.
I almost deleted this today without reading it, so bizzy was I, but I took the time when I had a chance and it was exactly what I needed. Exactly exactly exactly……
Liz, I have been troubling for some time now. It started 8-10 years ago. My husband divorced me. I did not handle it well–even considered suicide. Only thing that kept me from it was my grandchildren. About two years later, he moved back in. It is not working out. He is building a house of his own. I am still not handling it well. I am ready for it to happen just to get it over with, yet I want our old relationship back. I do not want to be alone. I pray about it. Not sure where to turn next. Can you advise me what scripture I should be looking at to help me through this. It may be 6 month to a year before he gets his house done and able to move out.
Liz, Thank you for wonderful words today. I am struggling with wanting, longing, hoping, that my 3 twenty-something will eventually settle into their adult lives without struggling as hard as they are. I pray daily that they will come to know Christ and give their struggles over to him.
I wanted to share a prayer for us “Proverbs Women”: “LORD, shed Your light on our inmost being and where there is any pride, clean it out and bless us instead with humility and wisdom. Let us never withhold good from anyone, but help us to always withhold a secret given to us in confidence. Keep our feet on the right path and in all of our ways, let us be steadfast and faithful. In the precious name of Jesus, we pray, Amen.”
Thank you, Liz, for the words of comfort, peace, and encouragement. I’m constantly praying for my grown children, Christy, Kenneth, and Suzanne. All of them have needs, whether spiritual, financial, or health. Currently, Christy, my oldest daughter, lost her full time job two weeks ago. She desparately needs employment. My son, Kenneth, is waiting to hear about a home he wants to purchase. It should have transpired 3 weeks ago, but he is being patient, my youngest, Suzanne has many financial needs also. I pray that the Lord will send some Christian men into the lives of Christy and Suzanne.
Liz, thank you for your faithfulness to God’s word. Your post was passed onto me from a friend and the timing is perfect for me. God’s timing is perfect I should say. Always! Your words are a blessing as I am in a “wait upon The Lord” for answered prayer season. Trusting in Him!!
Thank you for your encouraging words. I’m waiting for our prodigal son to accept Jesus as Lord of his life. It will be such a sweet day when he does with much celebrating in my heart and in heaven. I trust God is working and will bring it to completion in His perfect timing.
I have prayed and prayed and hoped beyond my strength for my children to be reconciled after a bad argument and very hurt feelings. Praise
God, He heard my prayers, He pulled me out of the pit of my misery. I had made myself sick with worry. Even though I didn’t trust as I should have and as I willed myself to do…I had to let myself go and lean on HIM!!! Do Not give up praying, God hears our murmurs, our broken hearts and He loves us!!!,
Liz, I love that you cited Anna’s story of waiting for the fulfillment of her daughter’s adoption. Couldn’t help but make a comparison to our Woman of Christmas, Anna, who also waited for the fulfillment of her vision for a “Child .” A Tree of Life indeed!
Each weekly proverb has been really meaningful but I wrote Proverbs 13:12 in my journal tonight. In my case, hope deferred would be the amount of time it will take us to pay off our debts, but thank God He helped us come up with a plan. Now I’m looking forward to that second portion: a longing fulfilled (debts paid off) is a tree of life. God bless you for continually sharing hope from God’s Word, Liz.
I am waiting for my 18-year-old daughter Becca to turn back to the Fountain of Life and embrace the God who loves her. She hasn’t been “on speaking terms” with Him for over two years. I know God loves her more than even I do, and that His love is perfect and complete. It is hard to see her in such rebellion! So I pray. And I wait. I let her know that I love her. And I pray and wait. And hope.
I have been praying for my great-grandson Carson Tarr. He has Autism. He is 8 yrs old and goes to a special school. I can see the Lord working in his little life. My granddaughters husband is in the Army and not home a lot which leaves her to be the one to take care of his needs. I believe that GOD is true and faithful to answer my prayer. GOD has a plan and purpose for Carson and am believing that plan will be completed. I thank Him for His ever lasting love.
This was awesome Liz. I first heard this verse from my friend Paula several years ago. I didn’t remember reading it when I went through the bible, and had to look it up. Your ‘dissecting’ it and making it come to life was so encouraging today. I am ‘waiting’ to find ‘the’ house in the area where God would ‘plant’ us. I want it to be in an area where my daughter and two grandchildren would want to live as well. After the death of the kids’ father, my husband and I are a big part of their support group, and we need to live near each other! 🙂 I pray I am waiting ‘faithfully and patiently’. God is always good, and I am trusting His plan will be perfect for us all. I want us all to enjoy that ‘tree of life’!
May you be abundantly blessed Liz!
Your words about “hope deferred” were encouraging to me. I just read them tonight and I am just getting to know you, new friend.
The hope deferred part for me began in 2011 when I had a spinal surgery to remove a tumour in my lower spine. My consultation was in March, but my surgery left me paralyzed in terms of bowel and bladder function. But no pain. 🙂
2012 had challenges of its own (so many appointments and opinions). Final decision? Colostomy surgery scheduled for February 2013. But, was pain returning? Yes it was. A new tumour in my lower spine (explaining a reason for the pain).
July 2013, second spinal surgery, but this time, no resolution of pain. Six weeks later the unexpected news that I had a rare cancer of the peripheral nerve sheath in my spine. So I underwent radiation for six weeks (late September and October). Then I slept a lot.
I feel like I am waking up now. Was I dreaming? Where did the time go from 2011 to now?
I clung to His promises. I clung to His truth that He was always present and in control. My hope was that if only one person wondered how I could say He is good and can be trusted, then all 3 surgeries and their complications were worth it.
I know there were many days when I could not stand on even one promise for myself … but I know there were several people who were standing in the gap for me.
Now it is March 2014. I am anticipating health for this year despite my journey with continued pain. But “for this I have Jesus”.
Secure in Him,
Judi, praying for continued strength for you! You have experienced and still are experiencing weakness, so may His strength be more evident! Keep hoping in Him!
In the middle of it all, the only thing that helps is knowing that you know, Jesus loves you like crazy, won’t leave and won’t let go. Praying for your health and joy.
Dear Liz, you have much wisdom and it shows in your writing. When I think my life is fine , something happens and I think, now what. I have no answers other than God is with me always and I love him, so I trust everyday to be a good day. Psalm 103: bless the Lord oh my soul 🙂
Being able to look back on a situation that was difficult beyond words and see that we were never alone and know that God was with us every step of the way is a blessing in and of itself! The “leap of faith” is often acquired through baby steps, those small glimmers of hope along the way. The times when we are on our knees crying out to be heard by our great and merciful God who can and does deliver with perfect timing according to His schedule, not ours. My waiting for a child involved a major surgery to unblock my tubes which ended in a tubal pregnancy and emergency surgery to remove the tube; a cervical cancer scare which all but stopped the invitro fertilization cycle which I was in the middle of (a waiver was signed that a hysterectomy would be performed if it was any worse when they got in there); another tubal pregnancy and emergency surgery to remove that tube from a failed IVF attempt….. An emotional rollercoaster ride that I can say I only survived because of the grace of God. However, between the first and second tubal pregnancy I did have a successful IVF cycle and was blessed with the most beautiful baby girl in the world, that was 17 years ago. Funny how it feels like yesterday and 100 hundred years ago at the same time. My prayer is to keep God just as close in the seasons of life where the want or need is not as great as when it is as big as the mountains……faith like the mustard seed can move them. The faith is not in ourselves and our own ability, but in God and His. My daughter has been my greatest joy in life, the longing fulfilled. She is a Christian and draws upon the Lord’s strength and guidance daily in her young life. She has blossomed into a beautiful, focused, and talented young lady and I am blessed beyond measure that we are sisters in Christ as well as mother and daughter. The greatest gifts definitely come from above. No matter how God answers our prayers, He always knows and does what is best for us, His children. Liz, thanks so much for sharing this and for the perfect way you present it. You are a blessing to so many!
What an amazing post this week and one of my favorite verses! “Unrelenting disappointment” describes the last few years when life got turned upside down because of choices family members made and left a family so shattered. My longing continues to be that the Lord will bring our precious family back together. There are grandchildren whose lives are in sad situations that break my heart daily. This word reminds me once again to never give up hope in the Lord. Instead of trying to change my family I need to trust the Lord and wait expectantly for Him. My part is to know His promises and place my hope and my family in His hands moment by moment! Your awesome insight has spoke to me again!! Thank you Liz!
I wanted to rest on this week’s proverb. Unrelenting disappointments, delayed hope, so much apart of my life. This morning the reading from Streams In The Desert lined up with all that I read in your blog. Mrs. Cowman, the author wrote: Then I realized when the fires of affliction draw songs of praise from us, we are indeed purified, and our God is glorified. Liz, you encourage me week after week. The comments shared by others encourage as well. Thank you.
Thanks dear Liz for your timely word on God’s Word! I’ve been praying for a wayward adult son, who’s been “out there” since he left home after High School! He believes he knows the Lord, but hasn’t really surrendered his all yet! He’s 30 and has finally been attending church faithfully for about 6 months- I just keep trusting God to draw my son near to Him, one step at a time! Thankfully God never gives up… I won’t either!
Liz, You spoke of good news and bad news and I was teaching today on Matthew 9:18-19 with my soccer boys here in Ethiopia. And it is interesting how we put a period at the end of a situation instead of putting a comma. A comma means there is more to come! More news, more opportunities, and a great reminder that we need to place our Faith before the period and speak life into our days. The rulers daughter has died, he comes before Jesus Worshipping Him, not grieving and speaking into the situation says to Jesus, My daughter has died, but come with me and lay your hands on her and she will live! Jesus followed this man because of his faith in Jesus! Oh when our hope is almost gone, we need to worship and life with come out of that thing we thought was dead! Glory! Be blessed Liz and thanks so much for your sharing each week. Seeking to Serve, Shelly
I really needed this today. I met you in Dec at the Chicago event, with my Daughter Gloria and my mother. Gloria is recovering well from the surgery to drain the cyst in her brain. All winter I have been looking for a job and things have been tight. My sister in law Monica was one of my best friends. She was Gloria’s godmother and had lived with us off and on over the last 14 yrs. Gloria and her were so close. I have never seen an aunt and niece relationship like theirs. She is always a part of our lives and was a very devoted and caring Christian woman. She got me through some of the lowest parts of my life. She brought me back into the sunshine when I could see it was there. On Feb 11th I got a call she was dead. At age 51 she was gone because of a massive heart attack. We all are in shock still, and walking slowly and carefully through these days. I hope that someday we will be able to move past this, so we are going to church, holding each other close, and praying we can someday see her happy and whole agin with Our Lord. So to read this today brought hope back that things will improve, and that God truly cares for us!
This proverb is so for me today. After 4 long years of my daughter trying to have a baby we will find out today if she is having multiples! My prayer is that God will place love and joy in these little ones. Thank you for being the encourager that you are and may you be blessed back 100 fold.
I rejoice, for these words are so true: Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12.
And we also waited with my daughter for 7 years on her “adoption journey” in China, before they finally got their little girl “Meika” and it did bring so much life and joy into our life’s and in the waiting there was “heart sickness” and tears and sometime giving up, but God was and is faithfull and gave us more than we could have ask for. Our little Meika is a delight.
Liz you certainly are an encourager…….but a wonderful teacher and writer. I get happily overwhelmed reading His Word, after you plant a the seed!
Yes, hope for so many things in our life, health and healing, being a better witness to friends and family.
But a trust and peace in knowing He is in charge and He is our hope.
Liz, this seems to have come right on time for all of us, thank you so much for being so devoted to our Father and Lord with this blog. God bless you dear sister and fellow bloggers here, in Christ.
Thank you, Liz for this particular post. God’s word has been ministering to me this week as I tire of the financial rut my family has faced over the last few years. This week involved early, early mornings fighting worry as we try to figure out college for our oldest child. I also tend to worry over our nation and world, so I need the reminders that God is for us, and this hit the spot.
As I read the comments, I was overwhelmed by the pain some of my sister feel. The trials are so heavy and yet their hope is palpable. When I was in my twenties and life was so sad and depressing, a counselor gave me the scripture, “Wait on the Lord, be of good courage and He will give you the desires of thine heart.” At the time, the desires of my heart were fairly carnal. But wait I did and my desires became more like His desires and may I share that I do have the desires of my heart, and He is giving me big dreams and big vision. And I believe it will all come to pass!
I am waiting and trying to cast my broken heart upon the Lord, my son and wife took our grandchildren away from us and have cut off all contact with us, there are a lot of emotional issues his wife is suffering from but the truth is she is insecure and has isolated them from all family…I know and believe God can restore our family and a praying for softened hearts and forgiveness
Thank you for your beautiful post. Two years ago my husband quit his job to pursue getting into Medical School. It’s been a long, expensive journey that has required a lot of sacrifices not only financial but more importantly time spent together. We are trying to start a family in our late 30’s so that time, free from stress, is rare but crucial. This has been a lesson and season of patience and as March meets it’s halfway mark — no school interviews in sight – despite being a strong candidate on paper. Yup, hope deferred made me sick last night — both of us. I know Jesus is faithful and has a plan and time for everything. I will continue to meditate on your post and the verses as my heart needs strength to face one more year — waiting as a prisoner of hope for the Lord’s glorious plan to shine. Thank you for sharing and for your prayers.
Thank you for your words Liz. I’m so glad Ann Voskamp shared this today! This winter has been so hard for me because my mom has Alzheimer’s and is in a nursing home. We were always so close and it is breaking my heart to see her like this. I just keep crying and yes, feeling sick. Trying to praise Him, but finding it difficult.
I was so very encouraged by this post. For years I have been praying for a husband and have yet to see anything come to fruition. However I know that God is good and that he fulfills the desires of our hearts. He has been so faithful to me in every other aspect of my life that I know He will continue to show His faithfulness to me in this, too.
My husband was informed yesterday he is losing his job, after passionately working long hard hours dedicated to his profession. What’s more heartbreaking is the people who contributed to this decision attend our church. We have four children under 7 years old. Our hearts do feel sick…and scared. I’m hanging onto this post as I pray unceasingly.
Your words brought comfort and hope to me as I await surgery on March 25. Thank you for the encouraging words and scriptures on hope. I will reread them in the coming days.
My hope deferred is the marriage of my son and daughter-in-law. Both have salvation in Christ. My son doesn’t want to be married any longer. They have 3 small children who are now living part-time with mommy and part-time with Daddy. I love my daughter-in-law so much and my heart breaks to see my son causing such hurt to this beautiful young woman. I am praying that the LORD will soften his heart and cause him to see that he needs to fulfill his commitment to his wife and family, as well as his covenant to the LORD when they married.
My hope of raising all my babies was deferred when Baby C and D went to heaven last summer and when Joelle went on October 5th. But I know they are in the arms of Jesus and my hope in him is never deferred. At the same time, my longing for Neva was fulfilled and she is a healthy but tiny 5 month old sweetie.
“We wait in hope for the LORD, he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice as we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us oh LORD even as we put our hope in you.” Psalm 33:20-22
Thank you SO much for this Liz! I can’t stop crying. I needed to read this so badly tonight. I have been praying for over 5 years now for my marriage to be reconciled. I’ve been told I’m crazy, living in a fantasy world and also that “I’m stuck” in the past. But I KNOW in my spirit that God has given me this desire and has grown in me a love so deep for him that can only come from God. It’s been a long wait. And I’m raising our wonderful little boy as a single mom. But your post was the encouragement I needed to wait a little longer on The Lord to do His work.
I can so relate to u.. I’ve been divorced for 2 years & I still feel my ex is the one for me..
Liz, thank you for posting this. It has renewed my hope, and reminded me of Gods promises.
Charity, I can relate to what you say. Four years ago my fiancé walked out, just four days before our wedding. Everyone tells me I’m crazy for even wanting to speak to him, let alone still marry him. My pastor’s wife quoted the first half of this proverb to me- the part about deferred hope and told me it would make my heart sick, and pretty much gave that as a reason I should give up on this relationship, despite the promises I feel God has given me about restoration, and despite the love (as irrational as it may be to most people) I still feel for this man.
What a relief the second half of this proverb is. It gives me reason to keep hoping that ALL THINGS really do work together for good, regardless of how things look from today’s perspective.
The other promise I hold onto is that God will redeem the years the locusts have eaten, because as someone recently said, it’s never a good idea to take the score at half time.
I believe God will honour you for your faithfulness Charity. Keep holding on. The best is yet to come, even if we have to pass through the valley first.
Hi, I am really glad I stopped by Ann Voskamp’s and on her Saturday post for the weekend saw a link to you, Liz. My health is a big concern right now. I have been to Dr. once and told him what’s happening and he couldn’t spot anything of concern. I have Fibromyalgia but I don’t know if its worse or something else is wrong. I woke up at @ 3am with another of these “spells” and had to stay home from church this AM. Anyway this was so encouraging and I wanted to thank you for letting the Lord use you to help and encourage others. I would appreciate your prayers for my health and spiritual strength and wisdom at this time. Blessings!
I’m longing for me & my ex husband to get back together, if that’s Gods will. If not I jus pray for Gods will to be done in my life.. I want to be in love, married with kids and surrounded by the people and things I love. Thank u! Pray for my strength in the lord.
My acronym for HOPE … Hold On Persevere Endure!
We raised a foster child from birth to three years old, at the last minute a relative that she did not know from a different state came forward and took custody of her as we were preparing to adopt her.. They have denied all contact with us, we haven’t seen or heard from her in a year. We can only have hope that we may ever see her again. Our hearts are broken…we miss her so much.
Dear Ms. Lizzie,
oh how I needed to hear this! There truly is torment in the waiting. Please pray for me I’m applying to transfer to college for the fall semester and in the waiting comes doubt.) Someday, I want to be an art therapist and use my artistic ability to help others with their struggles. I want to set the captives free just like God set me free from my own struggles with depression and a fear of driving. God is so good! Would you pray that God would surround me with strong Chrisitan friends? I know I need a strong support system that encourages my walk with Jesus. I also have something that can feel like an affliction… It’s called singleness. I’m 23 and most of my friends are married or in serious relationships and I’m over here waitin on a Boaz trying to finish my degree. I’m tired of being the chick who gets stuck with all the blind dates her married friends feel necessary to put me through. You should see the schmucks they stick me with! I’m tired of feeling like a charity case! I am a woman of God, a Ruth, an Esther! My father is King and he doesn’t want me stuck with a bozo! Praise God that somewhere there’s someone God has planned for me to cross paths with. His timing and plans are perfect. Lord help me in my singleness in a world full of instant gratification. It is so easy to miss the big picture. God is so merciful and I know he will bring all good things to fruition in my life.
Love your exasperated single southern friend,
Lauren from NC
I am still waiting for a husband…. don’t want to live life alone anymore.
I’m waiting on God to reverse the divorce summons I received from my husband, after 32 years of marriage. I shall wait on Him, whilst He shelters me under His wings. Thank you so much for your great words of encouragement.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Rest in him. Humble yourself before the Lord and ask him to cleanse your heart. Stay contrite and broken. I’ll pray God works on your man. Hang on, sister.
I thought God promised me a restored marriage…almost ten years ago. I have endured a very long term affair, financial devastation, abandonment, lies, deception and more than I ever thought humanly possible to bear. My husband did come home almost 2 years ago, unsaved, unrepentant, miserable and so, so needy. I am almost devoid of hope and faith and needed to hear this word today.
Love is patient, and kind, gentle and long-suffering. It rejoices with those who rejoice and weeps with those who weep. It keeps no record of wrongs. Apply these qualities, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to your marriage, and have faith. JSG, my heart breaks over your circumstances, as does the heart of God. He will uphold you with his strong arm and I will uphold you in prayer. Trust in the Lord (never man) with allllll your heart. Don’t lean on your understanding. Trust God. Period.
Timely words. I’m thankful Ann V’s Saturday post led me here. What am I waiting for? Healing of profound wounds and wave upon wave of crashing disappointment in my sister’s life, my husband’s return to the faith we shared when we wed, and healing of any or all of my long-term physical pain issues… Is that enough? Yet I do seek to praise Him in the midst of it all. I do hope in God’s Word, character, and Son. May He strengthen all of us wait-ers to persevere in hope until He fulfills our desires in the best possible way and time, even if for some of them that’s not until we see Him face to face.
I am listening to your livestream. Touched my heart as you always do. My big stone is fear. Unbelievable fear about my daughter and her future. Long story, but, my reaction has been with anything but faith. I am actually seeing a counselor today because my anxiety level has reached terrible heights. My heart IS sick. BUT GOD…since I first read this blog study has been reaching my heart and understanding in my mind. I haven’t been in Gods’ word like this in about 3 or 4 years…see what I mean abt. my faith? Please, Liz if you get back here and see this please pray for me and my daughter. Thanks….for everything. Gos has used you wonderfully in my life!! 🙂 <3
What a timely blog for me. In the middle of reading it I just got down on my knees and asked The Lord to forgive me for such worry, and hopelessness that I had begun to wallow in…… It’s amazing how having two teenage girls with separate issues makes me get off track of trusting and hoping in HIM, and on to the worry track of “what did I do wrong as a mom…..what if this never changes….etc.”. God spoke to my heart through you. Thank you so much Liz. Psalm 62:5-8 starts out….”wait calmly for God alone, my soul, because my HOPE comes from Him.” Your blog today encourages me so much in my walk with HIM . Thank you
It’s amazing to me that we all have different stories and yet we all know the pain of hope deferred and the joy of longing fulfilled. My hope deferred is love, marriage and motherhood. My longing fulfilled is my degree. Thank you so much for encouraging me to cling to Christ, no matter what, in the deferment and the fulfilment. Bless you, Liz.
The company I work for has been going through a massive reorganization, which has left me in a strange sort of limbo for the past two years, and despite the time that’s passes, there’s no end in sight. It’s so incredibly frustrating to try and function with no clear vision or purpose. Not to mention little or no communication, feedback, or resources. It’s truly made my heart feel sick. I long for the day when the dust finally settles and I move forward with purpose again.
You said: “To move from doubt to belief requires a leap of faith, which often looks less like leaping and more like waiting, trusting, and praying.” I need to find a way to make that leap; to let go of my need and desire to be in the know, and to have control, and put my job and my career path in God’s hands. I know in my head that it is a testimony to just do as best I can with what I’m given. My head knows this. My heart still feels frustrated.
But even as I’m writing, He’s reminding me this time of limbo had its blessings too. I know. I just wish it was over. Lord, give me the courage to make that leap of faith.
The call came yesterday. Our long-time prodigal son is in jail. Again. My hope plummeted big time. Not just for him, but for our 8 year-old grandson for whom he is seeking custody. Long story. Lots of money. Little emotional strength left. Then I read this verse and was reminded once again that our hope is in the Lord and it is a work that only He can do. Thank you. I am encouraged. I am praying. I am trusting.
My hope deferred is for older daughter. She was involved with a church plant, to which she gave her whole being … once established, ‘the elders’ of the church began replacing the women who had done much of the ground work, with men. My daughter’s being was crushed. Now, she has made a choice to enter into a personal relationship which is not biblical, and yet, she interprets the Bible to suit her situation. My prayer and my hope is … Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Thank you for asking us to reveal our burdens to each other. Thank you for your testimony and dedication to your calling. I am enjoying the ‘blog’ Bible studies. Just perfect in length and depth of study for a short interlude during the day! Thank you for ‘Ta-Da’!