ENGLISH VERSION - Bulletin Nº 44 July 18, 2021

The hope that is postponed makes the heart sick, but the fulfilled desire is a tree of life. (Prov 13.12)

by Rev. Renato Souza Prates

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            Human beings are constantly faced with one of their greatest challenges: hope. This constitutes a challenge by its very essence, which is the optimistic expectation regarding what is desired. Thus, hope challenges human beings to patient learning, and mobilizes them to work towards the realization of their dreams to achieve. Having the patience to wait contradicts the modern human spirit, which tends to activism, always in search of greater achievements and challenges that these imply, making this modern man restless and surrendering to the immediate satisfaction of his desires. However, the anxiety about the postponed hope, which is accentuated in our generation, is not only a modern evil, since humanity has been its victim since the beginning of the centuries, as reported in the Holy Scriptures.

            When paying attention to the Old Testament writings, especially in the accounts of the story of Abraham, in the expression of Hebrews the "Father of Faith", one observes the afflictions experienced by this important biblical character and his wife Sarah, in the expectation that the divine promise to beget an heir, from whom a nation would be born, constituting the people of Israel, a people chosen by God, who would be like the stars of the sky and the sand of the sea, if fulfilled. The Lord made such a promise; however, time had passed, and time for Abraham - so far only Abram - and Sarah, configured to grow older even more, and see the fulfillment of their hopes diluted each year, since when Abraham received the promise, he was seventy and five years. Still other factors contributed directly to the couple's frustration and increased anxiety, such as the possibility of having a servant in their house, Eliezer, as their heir; or still, a child generated outside the union: Ishmael.

            The biblical account of Genesis 17:15-19, still reveals a much more intense moment of crisis experienced by Abraham, when he receives a renewal of the promise received from the Lord, declaring that Sarah would generate an heir who would fulfill the hope that was delayed , but laughs at the divine oracle, almost completely despising Adonai's blessing. However, the Lord visited Sarah and she gave birth to Isaac, the son of promise, and the hope that seemed to be delayed was fulfilled, at the exact time, as Genesis 21.2 says.

            When Proverbs 13:12 declares that "Hope that is postponed makes the heart sick", the verse deals with a reality pertinent to human nature that, being limited, and unable to peer into the eternal designs of God, is exposed to the solicitudes of your soul, that every day becomes more immediate. It is by recognizing this limitation that in Psalm 119, verses 81-83, the sacred poet is emphatic and authentic in exposing the evils caused by his postponed hope, even declaring that his soul “fails”, his eyes “fade out”, and his soul has already become like “a skin of smoke”, taking him to the bottom of the well of human restlessness. However, even in the face of so much vicissitude, the psalmist declares loud and clear that his hope is alive, and that he has not forgotten the eternal divine decrees, which will surely be fulfilled, completely satisfying his expectation.

            When we look at the final part of Proverbs 13:12, we see there the conclusion of the expression of confidence that moved the psalmist's declaration of faith, in Psalm 119.82 that we quote "a desire fulfilled is a tree of life". Here, the divine response that is always right, and at the given time, is proven as an achievement that promotes peace, joy and full satisfaction, as hope is consummated, as Proverbs 13:19 states, when he states that the fulfilled desire "pleases the soul ”.

            However, it is necessary to remember that the hope in the fullness of eternal life should not cause stagnation in those who believe in it, a passivity that immobilizes them, making them wait only for a future salvation, a new heaven and a new earth, where all your problems will be solved. This great hope must provoke an intense satisfaction that will dynamize the entire earthly journey of humanity, making it productive, in the sense of fulfilling your noblest dreams, which will consolidate a life full of total surrender to others, serving them through love , which is the biggest reason for life.

            The fragility of human hope can make him lament, blaspheme, give up, repent, become frustrated, discouraged, return, anger, offend, and fall ill; but the living hope in the faithfulness of God, who is able to bestow the best for mankind, through his fruit which is: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and self-control, must be the our greatest hope. Only through it do we have the opportunity to participate in the “tree of life”.

From this Sunday on, you will enjoy a Revelation Series with Dr. Joel Beeke. It is amazing studies from which we can learn more about this instigating book.

Prayer Requests

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Presb. Anderson

Claudia

Lucilia

07/07 Antonella Maciel de Souza Lucas

10/07 Gustavo Silva

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23/07 Teo Medeiros Armond

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