Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is like a tree of life.
The one who despises instruction will pay the penalty,
but whoever esteems instruction will be rewarded.
Instruction from the wise is like a life-giving fountain,
to turn a person from deadly snares.

Have you ever known someone who has lost hope? It’s a precarious situation. How many times have you heard someone say they’re losing hope for something? They’re losing hope for our country, they’re losing hope for society, they’re losing hope for the world. Hope seems to be fleeting. And when hope is fleeting, so are dreams.

But when hope is fulfilled, when something you have longed for over a long period of time comes to pass, hope becomes life. Have you ever hoped for something for a long time? I know we have. We have hoped for jobs and children and a hundred other things. And each time that longing has gotten fulfilled, it was like a “shot in the arm.”

Perhaps we should be careful with hope. Or maybe we shouldn’t ever live without it. Who knows. But what we do know is that hope is a powerful thing. When we have it, we have life – or at least the possibility of it. When we lose it, we don’t want to live.

Did you know you can give hope? There is a very practical way you can be a hope-giver which can make you a life-giver. That is to be wise. And when you grow in your wisdom, you will see people around you who are doing things that will cause them harm. And when you see them and the harm they are causing themselves and the people around them – you have the opportunity to be a life-giving fountain to that person.

Hope is a amazing thing. Don’t treat it lightly. Fight for it in your life and in the lives of those around you.