by Terri Gillespie
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12 TLV
Are there scriptural passages that are painful to read for you? I have a few. The above is one of them. Why? I have several “deferred hopes” — people and situations I’ve prayed about for many years. Answers that haven’t come to fruition. These are not wants or desires—like a Christmas list—but heart hopes of an eternal nature. Salvations. Deliverances. Restoration. Family.
Sometimes, it feels like deep holes in my heart, that for whatever reason, our loving Heavenly Father has left unfulfilled. Sometimes, I feel isolated with my discouragement — out there in the dark of doubt. Do you know what I mean?
So, knowing the longings are there and not knowing when, or if, they will be fulfilled can get a bit disheartening. And there are times when I am heartsick. But I can’t “camp” there.
A painful detour . . .
When my heart takes a detour, it’s generally caused by some area in my life that is weak. Those things that remind me that my heart hope is still longing. I must be especially vigilant to not get lost but find my way back to the path of faith.
One of the ways I do this is to focus on GOD’s truths. Verses that re-direct me into His loving arms — reminders of His sovereignty and love. Reminders of His love for those I love. As I come across them, I add them to my journal.
Here are a few passages meaningful to me [emphasis mine]:
- Looking at them, Yeshua [Hebrew for Jesus] said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God!” Mark 10:27, TLV
- Fulfill Your word to Your servant, which leads to reverence for You. Psalm 119:38 TLV
- I am sure of this very thing—that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the Day of Messiah Yeshua. Philippians 1:6 TLV
- And the shalom [peace] of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Messiah Yeshua. Philippians 4:7 TLV
- Chazak [Be strong]! Let your heart take courage, all you who wait for ADONAI [the LORD]. Psalm 31:25(24) TLV
- Never snatch out of my mouth a word of truth, for I hope in your judgments. Psalm 119:42 TLV
- When my troubling thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations comfort my soul. Psalm 94:19 TLV
I’m sure you have your own passages of hope — verses that shift the focus from waiting for an outcome to trusting in the Father, come what may.
While I would love to see my heart hope fulfilled in my lifetime (Psalm 27:13), but like Abraham and the fathers and mothers of Scriptures, not all lived to see their promises fulfilled (Hebrews 11:13). And, I must be okay with that.
Once I return to that understanding, I’ve exited the detour and am back on the right path.
Have all your heart hopes been fulfilled? Or are some still deferred? Just know we don’t have to take the detour of discouragement, and camp alone in the darkness—at least not for very long. Because He gives us plenty of reminders of that love, we just need to pay attention.
May we trust and remember the goodness of our Father, my friends—and may our detours be avoided or brief.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Award-winning author and speaker Terri Gillespie writes stories of faith to nurture souls. Her novels, devotionals, and blogs have drawn readers to hunger for a deeper relationship with their Heavenly Father, and His Son Jesus. She tries to avoid spiritual detours.
Terri’s weekly devotional, Making Eye Contact with God, for women only, enables you to really see God in a new and fresh way. Using real life anecdotes, combined with scripture, author Terri Gillespie reveals God’s heart for women everywhere, as she softly speaks of the ways in which women see God.
Join the conversation: What passages are your go-to when you are discouraged?