Hope Deferred, Sick Heart Incurred

Sunday, September 2, 2012

“Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12 KJV).

Regarding today’s Scripture, we can all shout, “Amen!”

Have you ever had an intense desire to have something (or perhaps, someone)? Your heart was thrilled beyond words, was it not? How you looked forward to that wish coming true. In effect, that want became a crutch, something that you depended on entirely. You had such hope, and you looked forward to that certain event happening (a relationship, raise at work, new car or house, friendship, job, vacation trip, et cetera).

But to your horror, that hope was shattered, as that dream was “deferred” (delayed), or worse, it never even came to pass. Were you not sick to your stomach? Did you not have a horrible feeling inside, like something in you died? Maybe you despaired even of life? Perhaps you felt angry, sad, or both. This is to be expected, since the first part of today’s Scripture reads: “Hope deferred [delayed, overdue] maketh the heart sick.” When we hope for something, and it fails to come to pass, it wounds us emotionally. Our innermost being feels sick.

Now, the second part of today’s Scripture declares: “but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” Here is the flipside to our previous paragraph: suppose that wish or hope did come true. Were you not overjoyed? You wanted to live and enjoy that good time, right? The Bible describes this as “a tree of life,” something that makes you want to live and makes you happy that you are alive.

Saints, life is full of disappointments. While we are emotional beings, we need to be reminded that our emotions should not be in control of our lives. Let us walk by faith in an intelligent understanding of God’s Word to us (believing the King James Bible rightly divided), and let our emotions follow us (not vice versa). Above all, let us hope in Jesus Christ and our sufficiency in Him, which hope is never deferred, and a sick heart is never incurred.

Many Coming and Going

Saturday, September 1, 2012

“And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat” (Mark 6:31 KJV).

Today’s Scripture testifies that ministry work in the Lord, although joyous and rewarding, can be extremely time-consuming, demanding, and exhausting.

The book of Mark focuses on Jesus Christ as God’s Servant, what He did (that is, the miracles He performed). In the context of today’s Scripture, the Lord Jesus and His apostles have preached, performed miracles, and travelled to such an extent that they have not even had time to eat! The Lord knows He and His apostles need a “lunch break,” so He invites them to come with Him into a “desert” (lonely, private) place to rest. “And they departed into a desert place by ship privately” (verse 32). Jesus Christ and His apostles need rest, so they attempt to quietly sail away! Will they escape?

Nevertheless, “And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him” (verse 33). The people see Jesus and His apostles floating away, so they run ahead of them, and meet Him and His apostles on the other side of the shore! Jesus and His apostles will get no rest.

“And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd [cf. Matthew 9:36; Matthew 10:6]: and he began to teach them many things” (verse 34). “And when the day was far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed:” (verse 35). Now, it is nearing evening, Jesus is still teaching, and He and His apostles still have not eaten! (Here, Jesus feeds the 5,000 with the two fishes and five loaves of bread; verses 36-44.)

Saints, ministry is very strenuous, but let us not grow weary. Yes, we do take time to rest, but may we never permanently rest! 🙂