Today's Verse

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

Devotion

You have hope. The Lord gave you a vision of what your life would be and He gave you the hope that it will work out at the right time. Although the Lord gave you a vision, He gave you just the main lines of it. You still don't know what the particulars will be and how long it will be before it fully comes to pass. Still, you have your hope. Long ago you made the decision to believe the Lord. You trust Him. Things don't always look like they're moving in the right direction, but you have hope that they will turn around in due time.

It would be a lie, however, to say that there has been no movement in the direction you're hoping for. It would be a lie to say that your vision and your reality stand in complete opposition to one another. Nevertheless, lately things seem to be dragging on and on with no end in sight. It would also be a lie, therefore, to say that your hope has never been tested. It would also be a lie to say that there have never been times when your heart feels the way our verse for today says a heart can feel. Truly, when hope is deferred it can make a heart sick.

When this happens, when sickness of heart makes a play for your emotional well-being, take heart from what the second part of our verse for today says: "Desire fulfilled is a tree of life." The fulfillment is on its way and it will be worth the wait. Indeed, it will be like a "tree of life" for you. It will be like, that is, the way it was in the Garden of Eden before the fall. (Genesis 2:9) It will be like the New Jerusalem after Christ returns. (Revelation 22:2) It will be, in other words, perfect in every way.

Take heart, then, from what the prophet Habakkuk says about visions: "For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay." (Habakkuk 2:3) The same can be said about your vision. It's hastening to its appointed time. It's not a lie. If it seems slow to you, then wait for it anyway, for it will surely come to pass at the time is was meant to come.