“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain”
Hebrews chapter 6, verse 19
The past year saw me battling for hope. Hope for change, hope for the realization of the promises of God for my friends, family, career. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, scripture tells us, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life (Proverbs chapter 13, verse 12).
But what do we do when hope seem to be deferred in perpetuity? We hang on to the surest hope of all.
Hope anchors the soul
The Christian faith is based on hope – and longing. Our greatest, blessed hope has not yet been fulfilled, i.e., the return of our bridegroom King, Jesus. The deferral is intendedto produce lovesickness – the sickness of heart that makes you yearn even more for the realization of the yet unmet desire.
In this age, we hang on to hope- the certain hope that we will one day be reunited with our Lord, that He will return to conquer the planet, make every wrong thing right, vindicate righteousness, reward every single cup of cold water given out of love for Him, and that we will witness and participate with Him in reigning the cosmos in meekness forever.
This hope anchors our soul. And the holy lovesickness it creates steadies us- by making us dissatisfied with this world; thus,freeing us from the zeitgeist of our times, the entrapments of this life, and ruining us ultimately,for lives of contentment in sin and darkness.
Hope and dissatisfaction go hand in hand. Two faces of the same coin.
Previously, I read the proverb on deferred hope as if it were speaking of a purely negative thing – an ailment to be avoided where possible, and quickly cured with therapy, community, and realistic expectations.
But, hope, by its very nature is deferred – for another time- a future expectation, not yet, not now. Every hope is deferred to some extent; and the heart sickness which follows is necessary, and intentional.
Sickness of heart confirms that the present reality is not what ought to obtain, it bears witness to the injustice we feel and shouts no! I can’t deny that things should not be this way!
Each time a loved one dies when we earnestly desire their healing, whenever an innocent person is denied justice, every time the sorrows of this age come barging into our lives, unwelcomed, our hearts scream: “This isn’t supposed to happen!” Each deferred hope testifies to the fact that we were made for another world.
Yearning for reality
If injustice is all that there is, why should we think that something like ‘justice’ should be the status quo? Why does death feel so wrong, when every living thing dies??
Because…we were made for eternity. The Lord, the sovereign, compassionate, all wise God, placed eternity within our hearts as a compass for our souls.
Our hearts yearn for the anchoring hope which is Jesus – and the restoration that He brings in this life, but ultimately in fullness, in the age to come.
The Lord created us with the capacity to hope, to point to the injustice of sin and death, the emptiness of this life, and the fact that this world and all its stuff is indeed passing away. We yearn for a world completely unlike one we’ve ever experienced; and know inherently that that yearning is right- righteous even.
The longing is for God Himself.
He is the true answer to the longing of our lovesick hearts.
And so, we cry - Maranatha!
Come, Lord Jesus. Come!
It is this hope we find hidden within the human experience – the hidden hope for eternity… for reality…for God.
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
- C. S. Lewis
Francesca Tavares (West Indies) is a daughter, sister, friend, avid reader, attorney-at-law, and porridge connoisseur. She enjoys Jesus and fulfilling His purposes for her life on Earth.