Written by Micah Joy Burke | ChattHOP Staff
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12
Have you ever been so disappointed that your physical body became sick? Our bodies often tell us the truth, despite our efforts to “pull it together” and just keep going. Scientific research shows that our bodies are so complex and resilient in so many ways, and so frail in others.
Secular studies show how we can be affected by disappointment:
People who are disappointed are at greater risk of physical or emotional difficulties, or both. Such individuals appear to have a greater frequency of headaches, gastrointestinal difficulties, moist palms, and over-perspiration than those scoring low on this scale. For some, being very disappointed for prolonged periods of time can lead to chronic stress problems.
Not only that, but we know that scientific and medical research also shows that optimism (defined by google as “hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something”) leads to longer life-span, better immune systems, reduced risk of heart disease, better coping skills for stress and depression, and slower aging.
WOW. What an effect our expectations about the future have on our lives! We tend to think our deepest thoughts are isolated to our brains, when in reality, they permeate our entire being, whether we like it or not.
I would now like to propose this thought: It is good for us to hope. It is good for our bodies, it is good for our health, it is good for our emotions, it is good for our faith, it is good for our lives. It is good for the searching and lost ones to see us have hope.
It is good for us to hope.
In my last blog post, I talked a bit about what hope means. Hope, when placed IN GOD, becomes a promise. God promises good to those whose hope is in HIM. (Lam. 3:25) When our hope is not placed in God but rather in something that we hope for, or hope will come to pass, well then… hope is subjected to the outcome, whether good or bad, and so, is easily lost.
You don’t need me to tell you that there is little on this earth that is sure and certain enough for us to put our hope in. The Bible promises that everything that can be shaken will be shaken. The governments, the establishments, the economy, the customs, the weather, our families, our health; all will be shaken over the course of our lives. How crucial it is for us to learn not to put our hope in good things happening, but rather put our hope in the goodness of our God.
I realized recently that my selfishness was actually affecting my hope, negatively. In the tendency to want things now, and want them my way, and wanting God to answer my prayers, but feeling disappointed in the lack of the overwhelming answers to my hopes and prayers, I was actually just being short-sighted.
The Bible gives a lot of promises. It does. It is packed FULL of promises and riches and wealth for those who put their trust in the Lord. But these riches and wealth don’t necessarily look like what the world has standardized as the ideal… rather, it looks like a life feeding on the goodness of God, and looking forward to the ultimate reign of the Kingdom of Heaven.
And so, a precious believer who has put their hope in God can walk through any adversity and difficulty and come out on the other side (whether in this lifetime or on That Blessed Day), with absolute joy. JOY. Joy because there is a hope beyond this present day.
And we so need this hope, don’t we? Financial difficulty, illnesses, death, injustice, abuse, divorce, relational rifts—they surround us everyday. No one is exempt from feeling the brokenness of this earth. That is why there is only ONE place to put our hope.
On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand;
all other ground is sinking sand.
Let me encourage you to search the scriptures to see what substance, what riches, what depths and solid foundations are there for you to put your hope in the Lord. His character and His sovereignty are sure. Our future is secure. Our hope can live as a kindled flame in our hearts throughout our lives, no matter the circumstances, when we immerse ourselves in the scriptures and in the truth of Hope Himself.
"Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint."
Article excerpt from: http://psychcentral.com/lib/dealing-with-disappointment/