“HOPE DEFERRED MAKETH A HEART SICK!” Conclusion!

HOPE IN HIS GRACE!

Romans 5:2, “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

We have, or by whom we have the privilege of obtaining the favor of God when we are justified. For Paul, justification was not just a doctrine to be understood, but it was hope in grace, because he had faith that God’s purposes (glory) would be accomplished. He also learned that suffering usually produces patience and endurance (verses 3-5); whereas, unbelievers are without strength and without hope in grace (verses 6-10). The enemies in verse 10 could be that they were enemies of God or they had enmity against God.

Either way, they would be outside of this hope in grace. In verse 11 God literally changes us from enemies to family.

The word “access” in verse one occurs in only two other places in the New Testament:

Ephesians 2:18, “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 3:12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.”

Christ, “the way” has opened the favor of God for us by faith.

Romans 1:17, “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”

Into this grace means to have been granted the favor of reconciliation with God. Wherein we stand or we are fully justified.

And rejoice. Our faith is often represented as producing joy: Isaiah 12:3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

Isaiah 35:10, “And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”

Isaiah 52:9, “Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.”

Isaiah 65:14, “Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, Verse18 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.”

John 16:22, “And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” Verse 24, “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”

Acts 13:52, “And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.”

Romans 14:17, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

1 Peter 1:8, “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”

Three Sources of Joy:

  • We are justified and declared by God as righteous.
  • We have His favor and abide with Him forever.
  • We have a future in the fulness of His glory both in this life and when we get to heaven.

Hope is an intricate emotion, made up of a desire for an object and an expectation of receiving it; when neither of these is present, there is no hope. On the other hand, when they are present in wrong proportions, there is no peace. When the desire for obtaining an object is present with an expectation of obtaining it in proportion to that desire, there exists a peaceful and happy state of mind which we call hope.

Paul implies that if the Christian has an earnest desire for glory, he should have a confident expectation of obtaining it.

The glory of God. The word glory usually means splendor, majesty, and honor. Paul refers to that honor and dignity which will be awarded to the redeemed when they are raised up to the full honors of redemption.  At this point, they triumph in the completion of His work and are freed from sin, pain, and tears, and are permitted to participate in the full splendor, majesty and honor that will surround the throne of God in heaven.

Romans 8:24, “For we are saved by hope: but Hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, doth he yet hope for?”

Proverbs 13:12, “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.”

Hope in God.

Hope in His Word.

Hope in His Mercy.

Hope in Grace.

Remember that hope is one of the three, “and now abideth faith, hope, and charity….”

“HOPE DEFERRED MAKETH A HEART SICK!” Part 2

The Psalmist said this to remind them not to forget the God who had delivered and cared for them during the forty years in the wilderness. Please read verses 1-7.

1 Corinthians 15:12-19, “Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”

Paul presents the argument that unless there is another life, in which those who trust and believe in Christ will be blessed, they are the most miserable of all creatures. It refers to their condition and hopes rather than to their personal feelings, and does not mean that Christians are unhappy, or that their faith does not produce comfort, but that their condition would be terrible; they would be more deserving of pity than any other group of people. This would be because:

  • No others had such high hopes, and could experience such great disappointment.
  • They would have been subjected to more trials than any other people. They were persecuted, reviled, and subjected to labor, hardship, and want on account of their faith, and if they were disappointed, their condition was truly terrible.
  • They would not have indulged in the pleasures of this life, as they do not give themselves to the pleasures of this world.
  • They would have disappointments, trials, poverty, want, and all for nothing. This does not mean that living a good life and faithfulness cannot bring happiness; it does not mean that the Christian has no happiness in his faith or in the love of God, in prayer, praise, and in purity of life. He can have enjoyment in all these and even if there were no heaven, a life of service would be happier than a life of sin. It means that the condition of the Christian would be more miserable than that of other people and he would be even more pitied. The argument in this verse is as a result of the high hopes we have as Christians.

HOPE IN HIS WORD!

Psalm 119:81-82, “My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word. Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me?” Verse, 114, “Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.”

Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”

HOPE IN HIS MERCY!

Psalm 147:11, “The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.”

“In those that hope is his mercy.” This refers to those who seek salvation.

The cry of the repenting lost sinner is pleasing to the ear of the Lord. An outward show is vain in the sight of God, because He looks on the heart.

TO BE CONCLUDED TOMORROW!

“HOPE DEFERRED MAKETH THE HEART SICK!”

Proverbs 13:12, “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.”

“Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is not virtue at all … as long as matters are really hopeful, hope is mere flattery or platitude; it is when everything is hopeless that hope begins to be strength.” G. K. Chesterton.

Once we have discovered something we would like to have, in most cases we want it now. The more we think about it the more excited we become, and the more we want it. When a promise has been made to us and the person making the promise reneges on it, we begin to understand what it means when Solomon said, Hope deferred maketh the heart sick. Delay in receiving what we were promised pains the body, the mind, as well as the heart. The longer the delay, the more discouraged, disappointed and sickened of the heart we become. Since delay sickens the heart, it is certain that ultimately, disappointment will make matters even worse. On the other hand, when the thing desired, hoped for, and expected comes, it is a tree of life; it comforts and refreshes both body and soul.

Genesis 2;9, “And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” Verse 17, B”ut of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

Revelation 22:2, “In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”

The literal meaning in Proverbs 13:12, is the tree of lives in the midst of the gardens of paradise. Solomon frequently spoke about and had visions of this in Proverbs and in other parts of the Bible. It makes us wonder what deep and unknown mysteries were in this tree of life.

There is nothing wrong with setting our hearts on God’s promises, and not on this world because God will fulfill the highest desires of those who put their trust in Him. “Hope deferred” delays receiving what we so passionately desire.

Psalm 42:1-3, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?” Verse 5, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” Verse 11, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”

Psalm 69:3, “I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.”

Psalm 143:7, “Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.”

There are definitely some places in which a Christian should put his hope:

HOPE IN GOD!

Psalm 43:5, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” 78:7, “That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:”

The Psalmist said this to remind them not to forget the God who had delivered and cared for them during the forty years in the wilderness. Please read verses 1-7.

“WHICH WAY?” Conclusion!

The way to heaven is made so easy by means of the Gospel that anyone seeking will be able to find it. However, most are so involved in their own lives and passions, and so determined to follow the imaginations of their own hearts, that it is said of them, few there be that find it. Nothing but sin will keep anyone off the narrow way.

NOTICE THE BROAD WAY

  • THE BROAD WAY IS THE WAY OF DECEPTION AND DELUSION

Lot – please read Genesis 13:1-12.

Achan – Joshua 7:1, “But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.”

Haman – read Esther chapters 3-7.

  • THE WAY OF DESPAIR AND DISSAPOINTMENT

2 Samuel 17:23, “And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father.” 

  • THE WAY OF DESSOLATION AND DESTRUCTION

Psalm 34:21, “Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.”

1 Corinthians 5:5, “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” 

1 Timothy 6:9, “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.”

Romans 3:16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:

  • THE WAY OF DESERTION AND DEATH

Look at Haman in Esther 7: 7-10.

NOTICE THE NARROW WAY AND HOW TO GET ON IT

Many seek the narrow way, but do not get serious about it. They may think about being saved, but never do it. This would imply that they will be too late and are shut out.

Isaiah 26:7, “The way of the just is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just.” 

Jeremiah 42:3, “That the LORD thy God may shew us the way wherein we may walk, and the thing that we may do.” 

Luke 1:79, “To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

  • REPENT OF SIN
  • RENOUNCE THE WORLD

Luke 18:28-30, “Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.”

  • HAVE FAITH IN CHRIST

John 3:14-16, 36, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Verse 36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

  • SPIRITUAL SERVICE

John 4:35-36, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.” 

  • SELF SACRIFICE

John 12:25, “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.”

  • SURRENDER ALL TO HIM

Please meditate on Romans 12:1-2. 

The time will come when it will be too late because the door has been shut and the day of mercy will be closed – death will come and the door of heaven is shut. How important for us to strive and agonize to win the lost and daily improve our walk with Him while we have the opportunity to do so.

“WHICH WAY?”

Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

There are only two ways: the right way and the wrong way; the good way and the evil way; the way to heaven and the way to hell; the bad way of sin, and the good way of sacredness; the way of saints and the way of sinners; the way of the godly and the way of the ungodly.

The question: The broad way or the narrow way? Don’t follow the examples of those going the wrong way, because the Bible says, “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Please read Luke 13:23-30.

Enter ye in at the strait gate. The strait gate means narrow and difficult, and represents the difficulty of entering the Christian life and living in obedience to His Word. Jesus compares the way to life to an entrance through a gate. The word strait has many different meanings: not crooked, but narrow and difficult to be entered. That means the way to heaven is narrow and difficult to enter, because so few are seeking it. The way to death is open, broad, and many are going the wrong way. Jesus probably refers to ancient cities, because they were surrounded by walls and entered through gates. Some of the pathways into the city were very wide and multitudes could enter at one time while others were narrow, and few would be able to enter.

Jesus is saying that the path to heaven is a very narrow path. It is not the highway that we would prefer to travel and few attempt to find it. Jesus seems to make a distinction between the public and private ways mentioned by the Jewish lawyers.  The public roads were allowed to be about forty-eight feet wide, while the private ways were only about twelve feet wide. The words in the original are very emphatic “enter in through the strait gate,” though it may be narrow.

For wide is the gate. On the other hand, the way to death is broad and multitudes are traveling on it, because they can get onto it easily, without effort, and go without thought of the end. It would require effort and thought to enter onto the narrow way, and most are not willing to travel it. Jesus is saying that it takes some diligence to enter into this life.

Luke 13:24, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.”

Not many will stay the course and those that do must strive to obtain it, because it is so narrow that few find it.

Isaac Watts said, “Broad is the road that leads to death, and thousands walk together there; but wisdom shows a narrower path, with here and there a traveler.”

It is a very broad or sizeable place that leads to destruction, misery, and intimidation. On this road people are covetous, and take advantage of one another seeking to improve themselves at the expense of others, rather than walking according to the rules laid down by the Lord.

Few there be that find it. The way “gate,” among the Jews, usually means the entrance, introduction, or a means of acquiring something.  They speak of the gate of repentance, the gate of prayers, and the gate of tears.  They believe that God shut the gate of paradise against Adam, but He opened to him the gate of repentance.

The way to heaven is made so easy by means of the Gospel that anyone seeking will be able to find it. However, most are so involved in their own lives and passions, and so determined to follow the imaginations of their own hearts, that it is said of them, few there be that find it. Nothing but sin will keep anyone off the narrow way.

TO BE CONCLUDED TOMORROW!

“THE SUPREME IMPORTANCE OF TRUTH!”

Notice that Paul said, “Christ is preached;” and He is the criteria.

  • REALIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF THE WHOLE TRUTH.

John 4:22-24, “Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 8:32And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Free from sin to righteousness: Romans 6:18-22 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.”

Psalm 145:18, “The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.”

Truth is a rare thing in our culture today, yet we know that God is the source of all truth and is available to all that seek Him. Wise men still seek Him! The ultimate duty of man is to understand that,

  • God is to be worshipped in truth.

He is to be worshipped in Holiness and according to His desires. Many think they can worship God on their own terms and God will be pleased — not so! The God who is due the worship has the right to set the terms. Worship of God involves recognizing who He is and who we are, as well as coming before Him in reverence and fear. We cannot come before a Holy God with unholy lives, unless we first come in repentance, confession, and forsaking of sin.

Proverbs 28:13, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”

God requires only three things in 1 Chronicles 16:29, “Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.”

God’s Guidebook for worship is the Bible, and the only way we know anything about God is through the Bible. God tells us what truth is, what worship is, and what He expects in regard to both. Two things we must do

according to 1 Corinthians 2:10-16.

  1. Have the mind of Christ.
  2. Compare spiritual things with spiritual.
  • God is to be served in truth.

Joshua 24:14-15, “Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Jesus gave us an example of service.

Matthew 20:26-28, “But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. Serving has a much higher place in God’s eyes than being served.”

Paul is another example of service.

Acts 20:33-35, “I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” 

God’s standard for service is Christ, and He commands spiritual service.

Deuteronomy 10:12, “And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,”

The Lord knows how He wants to be served and He has the right to set the terms of our service.

There is always joy in our service to Him, because joy is not found in things, but in Him.

Psalm 2:11, “Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with   trembling.”

Joy comes as a by-product of serving. It is not obtained by seeking it. God gives it to those who invest their lives in His service.

Psalm 40:8, “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.”

God gives at least six characteristics of a faithful servant:

  • A servant is not concerned about being served, Luke 17:7 10.
  • A servant is not greater than his Lord,

John 15:20, “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord.”

  • A servant is loyal to his Master,

Luke 16:13, “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

  • A servant prepares for His Master’s coming,

Matthew 24:45-46, “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.” 

  • A servant does not try to impress anyone but his Master,

Ephesians 6:6, “Not with eyeservice, as men pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.” 

  • A servant will be promoted for being faithful,

Matthew 25:21, “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”

Never have there been greater opportunities to speak, uphold, and defend truth.

Philippians 2:15, “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.”

“FOUR WAYS TO UPHOLD TRUTH!”

  • LOVE THE TRUTH

Again in Zechariah 8:19 we are commanded to “love the truth and peace.”

Our minds must be fed truth; we must not waste our thinking on untruth or things that are questionable. Often people make terrible mistakes because they are not willing to follow truth and at times, they lack truth.

Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Matthew 22:16, “Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth.”

John 7:18, “He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.” 

Romans 12:9, “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” 

  • REJOICE IN TRUTH

1 Corinthians 13:6, “Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;”

Christians have much about which to rejoice. Why? We are children of God. The truth we have been taught and practice will keep us from much trial and error and give us reason to rejoice.

  • Truth should always be open and aboveboard:

2 Corinthians 4:2, “But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” 

  • PROMOTE TRUTH

We who have truth must be faithful not only to uphold it, but also to give it to others. There is enough error being propagated today. Let’s propagate truth with zeal.

Isaiah gives the responsibility to parents regarding truth: Isaiah 38:19, “The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth.”

1 Timothy 3:15, “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”                

  • DEFEND THE TRUTH

Ephesians 6:10, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” (Please study the entire chapter).

1 John 4:1, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

2 Timothy 3:7-8, “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.” (Please study verses 1-8).

  • Know and recognize the apostates.
  • Don’t be afraid to name them.

Examples of apostates are the Promise Keepers, Charismatics, Catholics, Mormons and Muslims. They want to break down the walls of religions, and make it politically incorrect to name those who oppose Christ and Christianity by claiming tolerance and acceptance of cultural differences.

Philippians 1:16-18, “The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.”

TO BE CONCLUDED TOMORROW!