Deferred Hope

How can this word, this one little four letter word, harbor so much value, such great worth? Yet too often I misuse it, manipulate it, and take for granted the eternal importance it holds. 

Lately the convictions of my heart have led me to reflect on the rather significant implications of my personal abuse of the word and concept. 

What am I putting my hope in? What is the cause of the hope I hold on to? Why do I have such a hope?
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life." -Proverbs 13:12
I will be the first to admit that I defer hope in selfish and impure ways that ultimately lead to destruction and unfruitful hope.

I hope in a job, thinking that will complete my financial needs. I hope in the weather, believing another day of sunshine and warmth will soothe my restless heart. I hope in people, relying on their presence to fill an empty void. I hope in academic success, bribing myself with the temporary feeling of pride and satisfaction. I hope in relationship advancement, fixing my eyes on the always brighter future rather than focusing on the present. 

These aren't wrong places to put hope into, in fact it is beautifully healthy to put hope in little pieces of life that build up a bigger picture. However I find myself deferring my hope in Jesus Christ for these temporary hopes and aspirations that seem so pleasing and fulfilling at the time but inevitably will return void. 

The hopes of my idealized life will never completely satisfy or bring me eternal joy as I often buy into the lie of. Rather in Christ alone, through the tree of life, my desires are fulfilled for His glory. 

I see it to be no coincidence that our Savior, Jesus Christ, died on a tree. His death on this tree led to a whole new image of the tree of life. Our temporary hopes and desires we hold on to so dearly were nailed to this tree in death and crucifixion in Him to then bear a new hope, living, breathing, and active within our lives. 

May our hope be fixed on the cross of Christ and the eternal value we lay down our lives for to follow Him instead of the tempting yet fleeting craving to put our hope in immediate desires. 

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