The following ad was printed in the Lost and Found section of a newspaper termed, "Classifieds": "LOST: MY WILL TO LIVE. If you find it, please return it to me."
We read in Proverbs 13:12, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life." This speaks of both HOPE DELAYED and HOPE OBTAINED.
HOPE DELAYED: "Hope deferred makes the heart sick."
Years ago, a small town in Maine was chosen as a proposed site of a hydroelectric plant. Since a dam would be built across the river, the town would be submerged. When the project was approved, the people were given several months notice to relocate. During the time before the dam was built, an interesting thing developed. All improvements stopped, no repairs were made on buildings, roads, or sidewalks. Slowly the town became shabbier and shabbier. Long before the dam was completed and the waters came, the town was uncared for and abandoned--even though the people had not yet moved. One citizen explained, "Where there is no faith in the future, there is no power in the present."
Norman Cousins said, "Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live."
HOPE OBTAINED: "But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life."
Hebrews 6:19 describes hope as "an anchor of the soul."
Someone stated, "God makes a promise. Faith believes it. Hope anticipates it. Patience quietly awaits it."
Through the prophet Habakkuk, God reassures, "For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry" (2:3).
Malcolm Muggeridge wrote, "In the turmoil of life without, and black despair within, it is always possible to turn aside and wait on God. He will always turn up."
The English city of Coventry was made famous by the devastation it suffered in a Nazi air raid. Only the tower remained of the city's great Cathedral. One morning, an inscription was found at the base of the tower, written there by an unknown person during the night. It was the familiar passage from Haggai 2:9, "The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, says the Lord of hosts."
Remember, "Nourish hope. Hope is the flame that rekindles our fire, and casts out darkness."
Dave Arnold, Pastor
Gulf Coast Worship Center
New Port Richey, Florida, 34654