Hope Deferred Makes the Heart Sick

You want it so much.  You desire it so much.  Others have it.  Why can't you?  You aren't asking for much, are you?  You just want what so many other people have.  They take it for granted!  You don't!  You treasure it!  It is priceless!  It is precious to you!

But it is not yours.  No matter how much you pray for it, you can't have it.  No matter how much you work for it, you can't achieve it.  No matter how much you value it, you can't take it home and make it be yours.

We Feel Your Pain.

It makes your heart sick!  I mean sick.  Discouragement.  Despair.  Absence of any joy.  Nothing gives you pleasure.  Nothing gives you joy.  A friend trying to get your mind off your pain can put a smile on your face only as long as they sustain the effort.  As soon as they depart, the gloom washes quickly back into your soul.

Some call it depression.  Others call it grief.  Still others may call it envy, the green-eyed monster.  Whatever it is called, it is your experience now. We understand.  Been there, done that.

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

The first part of this verse resonates with us.  Hope deferred does make the heart sick. The second part is hard to imagine.

What? Should I keep on longing and maybe someday it will be fulfilled? I can't do it anymore! I can't! The old reservoir of hope tank is running on fumes!

We need to understand God sees things differently than we do.  He teaches.  He guides.  He even lovingly disciplines.  The thing we are hoping for just might not be what is good for us.

Really? Seriously? I can't have it?

God: No! I know what is better for you! 

Ah, come on!!!!! I want it so much!!!!!

God: I know. I know. But I have something better for you! 

What is that? What could possibly be better than what I hope for?

God: Me! 


Yes, me! I am the God of all creation. I can give you everything you need. I can fulfill your every need. Whatever you desire in the core of your being, I can deliver it better than anything or anyone else. I want you to long for me! I want you to want me. If you long for me, you will be fulfilled! Anything else you think you want will pale in comparison to what I deliver. 

The irony is this, if we actually get the thing we hope for so much, it will be disappointing.  It satisfies for a moment, but then the thrill is gone.  We then search for something else to hope for and the process starts over again.

Or, we can long for God and He will be the tree of life for us!

- Charles Wagner, founder of Gramazin.  Gramazin is a place for people to share their stories of hope and overcoming adversity. On gramazin.com you can see someone put into words how you might be feeling, read about someone else's solutions for their issues which might apply to what you are going through, and energize yourself to keep striving to make a difference in people's lives.

If you are struggling with depression, no matter the cause, to find out more and get help, check out our free eBook on Depression!

TheHopeLine Team
For over 30 years, TheHopeLine has been helping students and young adults in crisis. Our team is made up of writers and mental health professionals who care deeply about helping others.
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11 comments on “Hope Deferred Makes the Heart Sick”

  1. Hope ‘deferred’ means the hope is delayed, to be fulfilled eventually. This is why the quote is continued with ‘a longing fulfilled is a tree of life’.
    The quote is intended to encourage the reader to continue to wait on God with anticipation.
    I appreciate you’re intent in this article, however, I need to chime in for those you have mistakenly discouraged, since this blog comes up when a person searches the quote in hope of an answer from God.

  2. I agree it’s a way of God saying He wants our heart. However, as for me I would like to be married and it’s a Godly desire but I’m feeling very weary and uncertain if this is ever going to happen. I’ve been waiting 45 years.

    1. I understand your heart I hear you I’m to in very similar place iv been devoriced 14 years and still desire to be married to a loving husband
      My hope I have none but trusting in Jesus I do

    1. i called the "hopeline" once and i was sorry i did, could of just been that particular person though...it would have been the same if i just told a stranger on the street...there is no one or nothing better than speaking to God Himself; Jesus, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God...

      1. Alex, You're right. There is no one or nothing better than speaking to God himself. We apologize if you did not like the experience you had at TheHopeLine. Please know that our intention is to listen and help you where you are at. We no longer take phone calls and offer online chat only. If you ever need to talk, it would be a privilege to chat with you.

  3. is there really no hope except from faith in God? what about those of us who are aware that there probably aren't any gods? where are we supposed to find hope? or are we beyond your help, hope dangled in front of us as incentive to believe. as though one can easily believe that which they know not to be true.

    1. Firaro
      No,there are many hope
      But the altimate hope that you can really on in this world you are living in is “faith in God”
      Faith is the evidence of things hope for but cannot be seen.
      God is the creator of the universe.He created you and I .
      He knows what is best for us.
      If you have faith in God,your strength will be renewed like the Eagle ,you will soar higher and not be tied.
      Hope deferred can never make your heart sick because you know that in the right time He will forfill He’s word concerning you.
      Trust in God with your whole heart and lean not on your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge Him and shall direct your path.
      >The BIBLE

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