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.