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Hope Deferred

Published on April 14, 2020

Roger Lipe


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


What goals have you set that are still unachieved? What have you hoped for and been disappointed about? How do these times affect you? You can turn to the Bible for reference and guidance.

A64A2865When a dream doesn't come true, when a goal is not achieved, when a hope, season, or event is deferred, it makes our hearts sick. We hurt inside when we have had the desired goal within our grasp, only to see it slip away. Proverbs 13:12 can serve as a reminder for peace and comfort along the way to our goals. It can act as a road sign that encourages you to work hard and give your best because failure is a bitter pill to swallow.

The marvelous promise here is that the fulfillment of our desires is like a tree of life. Can you imagine a tree that has fruit representing life itself? Better than apples or oranges, the very stuff of life hangs from its branches. Proverbs 13:12 says that's what we find when we have our desires fulfilled.

As your hope, along with your promising season or much-anticipated event, may be deferred at the moment, pray about how God, the Giver of life itself, can strengthen your faith. Give the Lord all that you have to see your goals achieved, your dreams come true, and your hope fulfilled.



1. What goals have you set that are still unachieved? 

2. What have you hoped for and been disappointed about? 

3. How do these times affect you?

4. Where do you find hope to press on toward your goals? How can you?



  • Psalm 9:18

  • Psalm 31:24

  • Psalm 33:22



“Father, we have tasted the bitterness of hope deferred. Our hearts are sick from disappointment, but we turn our eyes to You. We trust in Your unfailing love. We commit our hearts to You and hope again. We will pursue the tree of life that awaits our dream’s fulfillment. You are our hope. We pray and trust in Jesus’ strong name, Amen.”

*This is an excerpt from FCA's new YouVersion Bible reading plan, A Season Deferred: Hope in the Midst of UncertaintyDownload the plan to remember that while it can be hard to stay positive during tough times, God never leaves our side.