Aim for the Hope that Satisfies

Feb 16, 2018

In what or whom do you hope? …and having hope is crucial in life—especially in the storms of life.

Proverbs 13:12
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

To be sure, one may have the wrong hopes (cravings, desires, expectations, etc.) fulfilled…and be encouraged.  This proverb simply points to the God-given design of humans that when things hoped for are obtained, the soul rejoices…and when the soul rejoices, the body (the physical body) is refreshed (cf. Prov 3:6-8).

My suspicion, however, is if the hopes are misguided or misplaced that even the obtaining of them will never ultimately satisfy.  A few equations may help to see the point:

  • Hope (right object) + delayed attainment = heart sick
    (this sickness can be the catalyst of prayer, confession, etc. leading to sanctification)
  • Hope (wrong object) + fulfillment = temporary life
  • Hope (wrong object) + delayed attainment = compounding heart sickness
    (compounding because wrong desires at the outset and hindrance in obtaining them usually spell disaster, i.e., a compounding sinful response)
  • Hope (right object) + fulfillment = lasting joy!

As one can see, half of the possible scenarios are insufficient for joy.  Neither of the two middle situations will bring lasting joy to the soul.  Indeed, even the first option must be responded to in a God honoring way for there to be eternal profit.

ONLY the final scenario is a guarantee.

What this means is that one MUST set their hopes on the RIGHT object.  Take for example, those who have been denied food for an extended period of time.  They crave food.  They want food.  Perhaps, at some point, food is obtained….and what happens?  The craving is satisfied—temporarily.

You must hope for that which will ultimately satisfy.  This is the point of Moses in Deuteronomy, chapter 8:

Deuteronomy 8:3
3 And he humbled you and let {lit: “caused”] you hunger and fed you with manna,
which you did not know, nor did your fathers know,
that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone,
but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

God caused the Israelites to hunger.  God actively, denied them food…for the purpose of teaching them to hunger for His Word.
Jesus teaches the same idea:

Matthew 5:6
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

Do you see it?  Equation four, from above, is here—right here.  You must ultimately hunger for righteousness.  That hope, when obtained (when the saint finally goes home) will SATISFY.

Beloved, allow this promise of God to flood your soul:

Psalm 16:11
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

God IS the right object of your hope.  Peter confirms the same:

1 Peter 1:20-21
20 He [Jesus] was foreknown before the foundation of the world
but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you
21 who through him are believers in God,
who raised him from the dead and gave him glory,
so that your faith and hope are in God.

Beloved, “set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13).

Beloved set your hope ON GOD.

Please, I beg of you—do not set your hope on yourself, your circumstances, who you are, your health, your looks, your position, your power, or even your identity in Jesus…BUT set your hopes on Jesus alone.

10,000 Blessings in THE Hope,