Hope Deferred Or, How Do You Handle Disappointments?

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.  Proverbs 13:12.

Have you ever had times when you were really hoping and believing that something was going to come to pass…and it didn’t?  Maybe it’s something you’ve been believing for, for a long time.  And yet, you look down the road and still, no sign of the desired blessing or answer to prayer.  So, what now?

We’ve all had those times.  Times when we were hanging on to a promise with all we had.  It’s what kept us going.  Then maybe a deadline comes and goes, or another year goes by without the desired result. We have so many questions.  We think, did I miss it Lord?  Did I not do my part?  Maybe I didn’t do enough to cause it to happen.  You know how that goes.

What do we do when our hopes are dashed and it looks as though what we had hoped for will not come to pass?

Sometimes the things we were hoping for that we haven’t seen are disappointing but not life changing; so we can move on without getting upset.  Other times you may be feel like you are in a very dark place.  I’m just speaking for myself.  I would like to say I look at everything cheerily and never have these times but that would be a lie.

Sometimes maybe we did miss it.  Maybe the promise we were holding onto wasn’t from God for us. I’m not talking about a promise from the Word.  God’s Word is His will, so if its in the Bible you can believe it.  Maybe we took a word from someone else and that is what we were believing for.  We read something and we want so desperately for our situation to change that we think OK I am believing for that.  Or maybe you really did get a promise from God but it just hasn’t manifested.

One thing I have learned.  My timing is not the same as God’s timing.  He has a plan for all of our lives.  He knows that sometimes if we get what we are believing for too soon we won’t be ready for it.  Perhaps we haven’t learned the things we need to learn before we receive it.  Perhaps there are still things in our soul that He wants  to work out before we move on to something else.

Here’s the big question.  Will you still trust Him?  Will you still love Him even if what you have been desiring never comes to pass?  These are the questions we need to ask ourselves and settle in our hearts.

One thing we can know.  We are not the first nor  will we be the last to have these times.  The Psalmist in Psalm 42:11 gives us some great advice when we are going through some of those times.  He says:  Why am I discouraged?  Why is my heart so sad?  I will put my hope in God!  I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!

When I have those times I have found the only way to move past it is to get God’s Word settled in my heart.  To trust in Him with all my heart and to believe that He does have a plan, and its good.  I have learned through the years that I can’t make these things come to pass in my own strength.  And I know for sure I don’t want to have an Ishmael while waiting for Isaac.  I want God’s plan for my life.  Not my own.

Find scriptures that remind you of God’s faithfulness.  Don’t listen to the lies of the enemy telling you that you will never have what God promises.  Put your hope in the Lord and Him only.

Psalm 121:1: I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
 My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

Lastly  Isaiah 40:31

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Interesting when you look in different translations of this verse.  Some say those who wait, some say those who trust, some say those who hope.  That kind of ties it all together doesn’t it?  We have to trust while we are hoping and waiting.


Praise God, He doesn’t give up on us.  When we get back up and go forward, even and especially when we don’t know where we are going or how we are going to get there, when our trust and hope is in the Lord, that is when we will find new strength.  Trust and believe that’s our part.  Trust and believe.

And we can’t forget that second part of Proverbs 13:12: but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.  When we have trusted and hoped and believed and it does come to pass, it is all the sweeter.  Then we don’t remember so much all the trials and struggles we may have gone through on the way.  Because we are too busy praising God for His faithfulness!


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