As we finish our series on hope, our Bible Journaling Scripture for today is Proverbs 23:18, “Indeed surely there is a future hope, and your hope will not be cut off.” The New International Readers Version (NIRV) says, “There really is hope for you in days to come. So your hope will not be cut off.” In looking at this I was having a difficult time trying to put together my thoughts and how to illustrate this in my Bible Journaling.
I went to my husband for some insight, and he helped me as we got to talking about hope being deferred, which is found in Proverbs 13:12, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” (NASB) In looking at the Hebrew, the word for deferred is achar (pronounced aw-khar’) and means to remain behind or to tarry. When we looked up the Hebrew word for cut off, we found the word kareth (pronounced kaw-rath’) which means eliminated, destroyed, or perish. As we were talking, we were thinking about the beginning of the New Year and how many of us are entering this year with a hope that it will be better than last. We also talked about the idea of where our hope is placed.
As we look at our Scripture, God is telling us that we have a future hope. As we just finished celebrating Jesus’ birth, the thought came to me that our hope is in Jesus. Even though we celebrated Him as a baby, the manger is empty, He is not the baby in the manger today. He is our risen Lord and Savior, and through His sacrifice on the cross and resurrection, we have hope of our future. Because of this, our hope is not cut off…it is not destroyed, eliminated, or left behind. For the Believer, we have a bright future.
We can look at the cross from the manger and see hope. Hope of eternal life, hope that God knows the end from the beginning, hope that He holds our future in His hands. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (NIV) God gives us a future, a bright one. Things may not currently be going as we desire, but that doesn’t always mean it will not be fulfilled. My husband’s favorite saying is, “Delay does not mean denial.” It’s true! Just because we can’t have what we want now, doesn’t necessarily mean that we won’t ever get it, God may just be saying “wait.”
“Wait” is a hard word for me. I am not a very patient person. In fact, I think I must be the most impatient person on earth! I’m kind of like the one who says, “I want patience and I want it now!” Yeah, that never works. I fight daily with it. If we keep our eyes focused on Jesus, we know He has everything under His control. He is our hope, and all we need to do is trust Him and believe that what He has planned for us in the future is for our good.
So, how do we handle the here and now? How do we embrace the future when the present looks so bleak? Trust God! Trust Him for today and trust Him for tomorrow.
As you look to your future, is God calling you to do something for Him? Step out in faith and believe that He will make a way for you to accomplish it. Take that first step toward that calling and do something to begin the journey. He tells us we have a future hope, and it will not be destroyed or left behind.