Ever had something you’ve been waiting for God to do, and you wait and wait, and wait. It could be provision, open doors, healing in your body, a loved one to come back to Jesus. It could be finding God’s plan for you or walking out the purposes you were created for. It could be a prophetic word you’ve received about your life.
You hold on to it; you stand on it, and for a while, you’re good.
Then, you wait and wait and wait.
You look at your circumstances, and nothing is changing. You look at your watch, and time is running out. You wonder if God will EVER show up. You feel stuck in that place called “the same.” The purposes and plans for you seem forgotten. Your promises seem delayed - indefinitely.
And you’re not good anymore.
You begin to waver. Doubt creeps in. Discouragement comes. And your current reality causes you to be cynical and slip into unbelief.
Has this happened to you, or is it just me?
When those expectations we’ve been holding on to get dashed, our hope gets deferred, doesn’t it?
What is Deferred Hope?
We find deferred hope mentioned in Proverbs 13:12.
A further study in Strong’s Concordance defines deferred as:
I’m like YES, Lord. Deferred hope is all those things. And it stinks.
A Deeper Look
As I sat asking God about this deferred hope and how we get out of it, I heard him say, “ZOOM OUT.”
I was like, WHAT?
So he repeated, “ZOOM OUT.”
“What does that mean, Lord, Zoom out”?
Then I saw what He meant. Proverbs 13:12, “Hope Deferred makes the heart sick,” is (obviously) in chapter 13 of Proverbs. So ‘Zoom Out’ was God inviting me to look at the entire chapter.
Proverbs 13 shows us the difference between two ways of living:
The revelation God showed me was how “hope deferred that makes the heart sick” is the WICKED side. It’s the LIE.
But the second half of this verse shows us the TRUTH, the WISDOM, and the RIGHTEOUS way of LIVING.
ARE YOU READY?
The rest of Proverbs 13:12 says:
When we reject the LIE and live with WISDOM instead, THEN we know that our desire (when it comes) will satisfy our souls.
God was showing me that we get to choose. We choose to have wisdom or not.
The choice of Wisdom is to let the hope or expectancy of a promise be life-giving to us. BUT if the waiting tips into “heart sickness,” we’re without wisdom and believing a LIE.
This revelation brought me such freedom, and I hope it has you too. So now what?
How Do We Get Our Hope Back?
And it is NOT OURS. The voice is coming from the enemy, and he is a liar.
In John 10:10, Jesus calls him the “thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy.”
This thief wants to steal your promises. He wants to destroy your destiny. And he does it by trying to KILL your hope.
When you recognize you’re slipping into hope deferred, spot the LIAR, he’s there somewhere.
How Do We Keep Our Hope (this time)?
Let Me Pray For You
Have you struggled with hope deferred recently? Let me pray for you today.
Father, we thank you for setting people free today from the LIE of deferred hope. We thank you for shining the light of your truth into the lies of the enemy. In the name of Jesus, I break off any unbelief; any doubts that your promises will come to pass. I break off any discouragement from the delay. We receive your Holy Spirit to refill us with HOPE to overflowing. We receive your wisdom today, and we receive that hope and expectancy in your promises ARE life-giving to us. Lord, may the process of waiting NOT drain us of our HOPE, but may we LOOK FORWARD TO all you have for us. Amen!
Did this encourage you? Let me know.
Blessings to you.
P.S. If you’d like to leverage coaching to support you in overcoming hope deferred, let me know. Email me, message me over social media, or schedule a time to chat, and let’s see if working with me is a good fit for you.
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Find that voice inside that responds to all your circumstances with confident boldness, that voice that sends packing all the doubts, fears, anxieties, and worries; and that voice that stops the chaos from spinning. How do you roar like that? Find out how in Cherlyn's new book Roar Back: Transforming Struggles Into Strength.