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Faith Imagined: November 2008

Faith Imagined

Alisa Hope Wagner: Christian Writer

November 10, 2008

Hope Deferred!

I love to meditate on Proverbs 13.12: "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life" (NAS).

God sometimes gives us promises that won't be fulfilled for a long time. Why He does this, I do not know. Why, for instance, did He anoint King David to be King when David was just a boy? Why did God give Moses the passion to save his people when he wouldn't be ready for the task for another 40 years? Why did Paul have the ambition to change the world before he was even a Christian? Why does God allow the passion to burn within us, securing a promise for us years before that very promise will be fulfilled?

This hope that Proverbs 13.12 describes reminds me of the hope that we have in God's promises. And the part about making the heart sick really encourages me. I used to feel bad for desiring a promise so much that it hurt. But this scripture acknowledges it and doesn't try to make light of it. Although I know that we shouldn't question why God has postponed a promise according to His sovereign plan, it still is nice to know that God understands our heartaches.

But what is really cool is that when the promise is finally fulfilled and our patient obedience finally pays off, we will receive a "Tree of life." I never really contemplated this. I just thought it sounded good. But when I did some research, I found that the "Tree of life" represents a bounty of blessings, not just one.

During my quiet time, I researched what fruit the "Tree of life" could produce, and I was blown away. I went ahead and picked 12 fruits that I would want on my tree: peace, authority over sin, healing, strength, wisdom, Christ-centeredness, blessings, God's will, success, favor, understanding and protection. Now I think those fruits are worth waiting for until they are ripe and juicy!

"Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.”
- Hebrews 10:23

"And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the LORD."
- Hosea 2:20

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