Hope Deferred

In the world we live in we need hope. It has been said that there are two methods only to control a society: fear and hope.
The Bible tells us in Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life”
Many more people are suffering depression and mental illness today than at any time in human history. Entire hospitals dedicated to the depressed and suicidal are increasing in size and position in society. Psychology and Psychiatry are boom industries in the medical world.
Hope is key to survival. Jesus came to give hope to the poorest of the poor, the most broken. He reads from Isaiah in Luke’s Gospel: 

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,<sup class="footnote" value="[j]”>[j]
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” 
(Luke 4:18-19 NKJV)
In it’s simplest form, He was anointed to give Hope. Restoration to all who needed it. 
We are tasked with continuing His work, giving Hope to those who have none. Restoring it to both those who had it taken against their will, and those who have given up hope. 
Hope deferred can cripple us emotionally and physically. Medicine calls the psychological effect a psychosomatic illness – a physical manifestation of the emotional wound. It can be anything from headaches to full blown paralysis. There’s an illness called Takotsubo Syndrome or Broken-heart Syndrome which mimics a heart-attack, but is brought on purely be stress – hope deferred being a major cause of stress.
Jesus’s teachings were revolutionary 2000 years ago. He was mocked and ridiculed by the “learned” men of the time because His teaching halted their religious prattle in it’s tracks. They had a salvation of works, earning your spot in heaven, where Jesus taught faith in Him alone was enough. Healings followed Jesus as He walked the earth, then His followers after the resurrection. Hope was restored to thousands on a daily basis. The Power of God flowed through them, and despair was replaced with Hope.
Today we have lost sight of that. We seek help from medics rather than primarily through Faith. We read that Faith is the substance of things Hoped for, yet we have forgotten how to hope.
My personal history is riddled with this. I suffered depression and a lack of hope for years, culminating in several suicide attempts just to make the pain go away. Even today I have times when the doubts and fears of my youth come in to try to overwhelm me. I’m Blessed in that I have learned to overcome these attacks, for the most part, and I can fight in Christ’s power to overcome the issues.

The key was deceptively simple. I was in a good Bible-based Church at the time, and despite everything in my mind telling me not to, even at my darkest times I kept going to fellowship. Please note, Fellowship is not necessarily Sunday Morning activities. In fact, true Fellowship seldom happens on a Sunday. The meetings can be superficial and no matter how emotive the talk and worship are, there is a sense of loneliness that can leave a person feeling more isolated than ever. True fellowship comes from letting other people speak into your life and be involved. Don’t misunderstand me, Church is important, but Fellowship is vital. Sitting in a service on a Sunday morning doesn’t make you a stronger Christian on it’s own any more than sitting in a garage makes you a car, but fellowship meeting where you talk and laugh and cry and pray together will strengthen anyone.

It did for me.

I’ve written before that I have trials in my life. Over a decade ago I went through something similar and walked away because I didn’t know the Power and Authority I had. Through teachers like Andrew Wommack, Dave Duell, Martin Ruskin and a list so long I could take all night to list them, I was able to see hope begin to be restored. As that happened I had the strength to tell my psychiatrist I didn’t need him any more. Prayer and fellowship became my treatment, and eventually I was able to wean off the medication.

Today I take pills to help me sleep again. My hope remains, but it has been knocked back – deferred – so many times that it gets harder to hold on to.

My heart is in danger of becoming sick again. Hope deferred truly does make the heart sick.

So what’s my point?

Keep hope alive. As Paul write, take all my thoughts captive and compare them with the Gospel. Those that don’t match up I throw out. Those that do I hold onto.

It sounds simple. CS Lewis is quoted as saying “experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn. My God do you learn.”

I chose experience as my teacher, something I regret immensely. Everything we need for survival in this world, no matter the level of despair we have can be found in John’s Gospel, chapters 14 to 16. Jesus used them the night He was arrested to remind the disciples of what He had given them. They are a “survival Kit” for all Christians. I would urge anyone going through a hard time reading this to check out this link: Christian Survival Kit Audio Teaching – Andrew Wommack or Christian First Aid Kit – Andrew Wommack for audio teachings on a crisis situation. If you prefer reading, then use Christian Survival Kit – wirtten The downloads are free. Andrew Wommack Ministries inspired me in my work to not withold any message from the Gospel due to financial constraints.

I have a very dear friend with a similar call on her life that I had on mine when I was her age, longer ago than I choose to remember. I delight in watching her moving towards her dream, the Hope God has set before her, and seeing her move each day towards the fulfilling of the dream. It has restored my dream, dusty and cobweb covered that it may be, with a wash and brush up it still shines after almost 20 years of neglect. This blog is part of it, but it will grow. The first step is taken, and the next is coming

My hope was deferred, but now I see it again.

You can too. Over the next few days I’ll be working on the second part of the verse, “when the desire comes, it is a tree of life”
Watch this space
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