Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hope Deferred

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But desire fulfilled is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12

            Unfulfilled expectations can sap you of your spiritual stamina and deplete your ability to persevere in trusting God.  Trying to live by faith without hope is like endeavoring to drive a carriage without a horse.  You can crack the reins but you are not going anywhere.  You are just going through the motions.
            If you have been a believer very long, no doubt you have had experiences where heavenly vision did not translate into an earthly reality.  You were sure that you had heard from God, but the promise from Him did not seem to come to fruition.  It may be possible that you just misread God, but it could be that the promise was from God but you assumed a timing for it’s fulfillment.  The promise may have been genuine but you assigned a time for God to act based on your circumstances or what seemed reasonable to you.  As we read our Bible we can see that God’s timing does not always coincide with ours.  Many people in God’s Word, such as Abraham, had to wait, humanly speaking, past realistic periods of time to receive the promise.
            Most people in the USA have tasted a piece of Hersey’s chocolate. Hershey Chocolate Company was founded by Milton Hershey.  In 1876 Hershey started a candy business in Philadelphia, but despite six years of hard work, it failed.  He moved to New York City and started another business based on caramel.  It also failed.  He moved back to his native central Pennsylvania and started another caramel-based business.  This time it was successful.  He used the proceeds from this enterprise to perfect (taking years of trial and error) a process for making milk chocolate and mass-producing it. And the rest is history.
            What if Milton Hershey had stopped after his first or second failure?  The world would never have known the Hershey’s Kiss, not to mention many acts of philanthropy.  He would have died an obscure and unknown man.  What if the patriarch Abraham had not persisted in believing God past the biological possibility of conceiving the son of the promise? How might the history of God’s people been different?  How will our lives be different if we continue to believe God in spite of failure, disappointment, and delay?
            As they say in the theatrical world, it ain’t  over until the fat lady sings.  On many occasions in God’s kingdom, it isn’t over even when the fat lady sings.  It only over when God says it’s over.