Proverbs 13:12 – Heartsick or Satisfied?


Today we are going to be reflecting on our hearts, our desires and what satisfies us.  We are coming to the end of 2018 and approaching a new year.  It is a good time to take stock and be deliberate in our plans for the coming year.  The verse for our reflection is Proverbs 13:12, ‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.’  The book of proverbs is a particularly fitting book to reflect on as we seek to plan for 2019.  It is a book about wisdom; practical wisdom on how we are live our lives under God.  The book of proverbs is biblical psychology that predates Greek philosophy by 500 years in its wisdom and insights.  It is written by the one who made us and helps us to understand ourselves better than any other philosophy or psychology can.

Our verse is speaking to us about depression, loss of hope, disappointment, and satisfaction.  Think over this past year and think about your biggest disappointments, those things that nearly broke your spirit; that made you heartsick.  Think as well on those things that were your joys and satisfactions.  This verse is reflecting on those realities.  This verse reveals to us something very basic about ourselves.  We are creatures of desire.  We have empty spaces and deep longings.  We are hard wired to look away from ourselves for our satisfaction and peace.  And so when we are disappointed or satisfied, this does something deep and significant to us both positively or negatively.  What you need to appreciate is that this verse is an observation and not an exhortation.  It is stating basic facts about us, but that does not mean that it is not practical; we are left to draw the obvious inference as to what ought to be done.  In other words, once you see how you work, you will be able to see what ought to be done. As we look at this verse which talks about disappointment and satisfaction I want us to look at three perspectives on it focusing on sinful desires and legitimate desires and transformed desires.