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Deferred Hope

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

Photo courtesy of pixabay.“I’ve prayed about this for years, Lord. I don’t understand why there’s no change.”

That was my prayer for a long time over certain situations. Well, maybe it was more like whining. I felt as though God had turned a deaf ear.

Ever felt that way? We are a generation of instant gratification. When we don’t get what we want immediately, we get frustrated and complain. We question why. This attitude especially affects our prayer life.

Proverbs tells us that deferred hope can make the heart sick. The Passion Translation puts it this way: When hope’s dream seems to drag on and on, the delay can be depressing. Sometimes we pray and wait. Ask again and wait. Even pray and ask and beg … and wait while we wonder, why doesn’t God respond?

Chris Tiegreen suggests this could be a test. “If we focus on the deferral, we grow despondent and lose faith.”

So, what is the answer? Tiegreen also says, “If we focus on His goodness, faith grows. His promises are rarely immediate, and the way you handle the wait is designed to prepare you for the fulfillment.”

The key is to learn how to focus on the goodness of God. Just because the answer doesn’t come when we think it should doesn’t mean it will never come. God might be doing a work in us to be sure we’re ready for the answer.

A child might ask for the car keys at age ten, but a wise parent won’t put those keys in his hand until he’s old enough, mature enough, has passed the driver’s test, and has a license. The waiting might seem like an eternity to that child, but the fulfillment always comes at the right time.

If you’re praying for something that has not come to pass, don’t lose heart. Deferred simply means put off or postponed. Remember, God works behind the scenes to make sure all the pieces are in place. He always has our best interests at heart, and His timing is perfect. So, keep believing. And thank Him in advance for what He is going to do.

Look up. Your answer is on the way.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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Andrea Merrell

Andrea Merrell is an award-winning author and professional freelance editor. She is an associate editor with Christian Devotions Ministries and was a finalist for the 2016 Editor of the Year Award at BRMCWC and the 2018 Excellence in Editing award by the Christian Editors Network. Andrea is a graduate of Christian Communicators and was a finalist in the 2015 USA Best Book Awards and the 2018 Selah Awards, as well as a semi-finalist in the 2018 ACFW Genesis contest. She has been published in numerous anthologies and online venues, teaches workshops on writing and editing, and is the co-founder and regular contributor to www.TheWriteEditing.com, a blog designed specifically for writers. Andrea is the author of Murder of a Manuscript, Praying for the Prodigal, and Marriage: Make It or Break It. Contact her at www.AndreaMerrell.com.