Moving Past Hope Deferred

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

Proverbs 13:12

Have you been in a long season of waiting for your faith to become sight? Perhaps it was years ago that you planted that seed of faith, but you’re still waiting to see the harvest. It may seem like you’ve pushed past the temptation to give up more times than you can count. Yet you’re still waiting.

I’ve found myself in that place. I’ve stood in faith for one promise in particular for over a decade now. Sometimes it looks like the seed that fell to the ground and died. Like the farmer who plants his seed and then waits patiently, I’ve pressed past the many, many times when I was tempted to give up. I write this post, not only hoping to encourage others, but also to remind myself how to overcome hope deferred.

What does hope deferred look like?

Hope deferred can look like many things. Disappointment. Grief. Unfulfilled expectations. Hopelessness. Questioning. Double-mindedness. Sadness. Unbelief. Frustration. Dry, desolate places. It can feel like you’re not enjoying the pleasures of this world OR of your promised land. Hope deferred looks like unrelenting waiting…waiting…waiting. And yet…where else do we go? God is THE ONLY ONE Who has the power to bring about the fulfilment of those promises.

How to get your hope back:

The first step in getting your hope back is to identify what specific hopes have been deferred. Get it out on paper. Make a list, then under each unfulfilled hope, write the scriptures that God gave you. If you’ve kept a journal, go back and look for the rhema words He’s given you. Then meditate on these promises unwaveringly. Proverbs 4 says,

Listen, my sons, to a father’s instructions; pay attention and gain understanding…lay hold of my words with all your heart…do not forget my words or swerve from them…hold on to my instruction, do not let it go…the path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter til the full light of day…my son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words, do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for the are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life…let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left...”

It can be SOOOO tempting to let our gaze be distracted by our feelings or perceptions. If we are to overcome hope deferred, the word of God must be the plumb line that tells us what is true. Feelings and perceptions are often wrong. Our interpretation of our experiences are often wrong as well. God’s word will keep us grounded as we wait for the fulfilment of our hopes.

When our feelings and perceptions disagree with God’s word, we have a choice to make. What will we give the power to tell us what is true? As we apply the promises of God to our situation, our minds are being renewed, one rep at a time. Maybe you feel like you’ve done this many times, and yet, you’re still waiting. I get it. I feel that way too. Our faith has been tested, sometimes severely. Hebrews 6:11-12 says,

“…we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”

If we do not give up, we will reap a harvest. We’re growing stronger even as we wait upon the LORD. Our faith is proven genuine even as we wait. Our victory is assured if we do not give up.

Another way we push back hope deferred and get our hope back is through prophesying victory BEFORE we see it with our eyes. What has God promised you? Declare it to be true. Thank God for answering your prayer.

We also overcome hope deferred by recognizing and acting upon even the smallest visible indication that our promise is being fulfilled. Elijah set an example for us in 1 Kings 18. He was waiting for rain to come, ending the drought. His servant came with the report:

There is a cloud as small as a man’s hand rising from the sea.” And Elijah replied, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’ ”

Perhaps your promise is breaking out already. It may look like a closed door that is barely beginning to crack open or a prodigal whose heart is softening. Let’s not miss it when our promise breaks through. Let’s not, “despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin.” (Zechariah 4:10)

I declare to you today that those who hope in the LORD will not be disappointed. We will bear much fruit if we do not give up.

May your faith and hope be refreshed today,

Bless you,


One thought on “Moving Past Hope Deferred

  1. vcabinbevcommnet April 2, 2023 / 7:19 pm

    Thank you ,Arlene – this spoke to my heart so much … so helpful and so beautifully written … thank you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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