Hope deferred makes the heart grow sick. but desire fulfilled is the tree of life. The one who despises the word will be in debt to it. But the one who fears the commandment will be rewarded.
And when the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from Him — until an opportune time.
Satan’s business is to tempt me to despair, even in the wake of a plethora of evidence of GOD’s goodness and power to work the impossible. It is in these bleak moments of “hope deferred,” of disappointment, that he finds those “opportune times” to try to sneak in and make me doubt GOD and find despair, desperation and loneliness. To make me feel alone, abandoned, on my own — that even GOD does not care and has taken away my heart’s desire or never intended to give it to me in the first place, was only toying with my unruly emotions for kicks; and has now left me to my own devices to fend for myself.
The enemy wants to convince me that I will never get what I want His way and tries very hard to make me chase down the heartbreak of the futility of trying to get it myself and failing. He wants me to feel broken, abandoned, lonely and unwanted, far from GOD, angry and resentful at GOD, questioning His wisdom and goodness, uncared for, hopeless and heartsick. He wants me to be at the mercy of my emotional storm and forget that GOD is still in control in the midst of the storm.
Just because I have weathered one storm in faithfulness, does not mean satan is done trying. (The small s is on purpose because he holds no power over the GOD who lives in me, died and rose for me because He loves me!) The enemy of my soul is just waiting for an “opportune moment” to catch me off guard and knock me down a few pegs and point to my failure as “proof” of GOD’s indifference to my suffering and delight in thwarting my desires for His own amusement; to His supposed cruelty and insufficiency or lack of concern with that which concerns me.
The LORD will accomplish what concerns me today. Thy lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting. Do not forsake the work of Thy hands.
So it is written, so it shall be.
I don’t know if the answer will exactly match what my fleshly heart now dearly desires and earnestly hopes for, but hardly expects will actually come to pass — thus the deferment and apparent improbability makes my heart grow sick. Yet I know the promises of my GOD and the surety of fulfillment of the motivating desire even if He changes the specifics between here and there. Even if He has to remold my desires to match His. I know that no matter what, His answer has to be good and life-giving, in line with the deeper desires of my spirit — never second best, even if it is different than what my flesh has set its heart upon. If He takes away that which I desire, I have to know and grasp hold of the Truth that whatever He is bringing to replace it, is better than what my heart is telling me I want now no matter how distressing it is in this moment to watch it slipping away without ever even getting a chance to actually try it out and find out if the reality of it is as good as its appearance.
And if He sees that what I want is good and line with His Spirit, He can bring it about or change my perspective to want what He brings in every specific and find that everything I truly wanted is present in another form. I just have to set the focus of my desires on spiritual oneness with whatever form of answer He brings and not limit my expectations and hopes by what I can see and feel and understand at this moment. I have to learn to be OK with the fact that GOD’s answer to His promise may be different than what I expect it to look like, but accept that it will be fully good and not a compromise or second best to which to be resigned as “the best I can do under the circumstances.”
I need to be in a place where GOD’s answer thrills me and does not disappoint because my true desire is fixed on what He wants, spiritual unity in Him, not on the exact form, appearance or emotional excitement and the high of anticipating the thrill of my own desires fulfilled rather than the contentment of resting and trusting Him to bring about His desires for me — and trust that though the two don’t necessarily match up in every particular, they are neither necessarily polar opposites. So I just need to hold onto His promises and set my heart on fulfillment of the spirit rather than the flesh. He can bring about the impossible, open eyes and change even the clueless or ignorant heart, whether it be mine or someone else’s if my highest desire is for HIM.
Thank you for Your higher wisdom. My mind knows all this academically, but I need You to teach my unruly heart and emotions to stay fixed on You and Your desires for me; and not get carried away with chasing the desires of my fleshly heart. Teach my heart to want what You want more than what I think I want, whether they are the same or not. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous for the LORD your GOD will go with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
I am not ashamed, because I know the One I have believed in and am persuaded that He is able to guard what He has entrusted to me until that day. 2 Timothy 1:12