“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”
What an awesome, glorious advent verse, as we prepare to celebrate the coming of Jesus at Christmas. Just to think about the longing for Jesus in human history. The longing for one who would save us from our sins. The longing for one who would give us eternal life or reconcile us to God. So to read Proverbs 13:12 about how hope deferred makes the heart sick. Like to hope and wait and wait and wait and that hope to be deferred, but then the beauty, the joy, the exhilaration that happens when a desire is fulfilled like a tree of life.
This proverb is a picture of the advent season. After much waiting and anticipation, we rejoice that the hope of God has come!
And this is the good news of Christmas, that the hope of God is here. That all our desires for peace and joy that supersede this suffering and circumstances of this world, that those desires have been fulfilled in Jesus. That God has come to save us from our sins, that God has come to satisfy our souls, to restore us to relationship with him. We are not waiting anymore for Jesus to come. He has come and he has fulfilled our desires. Therefore, our hearts are not sick. Instead, we are like trees of life. We live today in Jesus.
We live tomorrow in Jesus. No matter what happens to us, we have life and peace and hope, and security in Jesus. Oh God, we praise you and we praise you for the hope we have found in Jesus. The hope we have right now in Jesus. God, I just pray this over every single person who’s listening to this, no matter what they’re walking through, that they would know. They would know that your peace, your security, your joy are theirs in Christ now. And that even as we know that now, God, yes, we still, we still long for more like we long for sin to be no more.
We long for no more suffering and our hope is in you. We long for the end of sin and suffering, and death altogether. And so God help us to in this already not yet kind of picture. Already having the hope of Jesus already having the peace of Jesus. Already having this security that is found in Jesus alone. The hope that is found in Jesus alone today. And at the same time realizing that we are still not yet to the ultimate fulfillment of that hope to the day when we will see your face and we will sing your praises. And we will enjoy your peace and security and intimacy with you for all of eternity and unhindered communion with you.
We long for that day. So help us to live faithfully. Help us to live today in the hope and joy and peace and security that you have made possible for us even as we hope, and in that coming day where all of these things will be brought to full completion.
All glory be to your name. Jesus. You are our hope. You have fulfilled our daily fulfilling, our desires, and you make us a tree of life. In your name we pray. Amen.
Download the free Advent Guide to follow along with each episode of Pray the Word.
Get Pray the Word daily by subscribing here.