Do you remember the old tradition of a hope chest?
Long ago, a young woman would prepare a hope chest in anticipation of her wedding day. With hopeful dreams, brides-to-be would collect items like their grandmothers’ china or heirloom linens to furnish their future homes.
I didn’t participate in the hope chest tradition as a single woman, but I’d like to invite you to join me in considering this old-fashioned custom as a new way to hold fast to hope.
An Old Tradition Used in a New Way
What if we stored up God’s precious promises and our heart-wrenching pleas inside a simple wooden box to buoy our hope while living in a sin-sick world and longing for our future home? The visual reminder to pray and not lose faith soothes our pain while waiting for a relationship to be restored or for a hard heart to soften toward Christ. A hope chest packed to the brim with the treasures of God’s Truth reassures our minds that God is still in control of a world dominated by mass shootings, abortion, and sexual perversion.
Each day we’re faced with Satan’s lure to give up hope and give in to despair. And we aren’t the only ones. The women we lead need to be reminded of our secure, indestructible hope laid up in heaven just as much as we do. We need to tell ourselves and then repeat to them that no matter how dark life becomes, the resurrected life of Jesus provides an unending sunburst of hope.
A Solid Rock Foundation for Hope
How can we be confident that hope placed in Jesus Christ will not betray us?
Sister, these three truths cement a solid-rock foundation for hope:
- God’s Undying Truth
The word of our God will stand forever (Isa. 40:8).
- God’s Undeniable Love
Hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5).
- God’s Unchanging Faithfulness
Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations” (Deut. 7:9).
Hope doesn’t come naturally to most of us even if we’re glass-half-full kind of girls. Even I wrestled with writing this article while hope was slowly draining from my heart. But there’s good news . . . the more hope is practiced, the more hope grows. Start building your hope chest with these confident expectations:
- Hope is putting your faith for tomorrow into action today.
- Hope is bolstered when you’re surrounded by faith-filled friends and family.
- Misplaced hope will always let you down, but the gospel is the true source of hope.
- The empty tomb of Easter is proof Christians are never without hope.
Hope Lives After Easter
At Easter, we relive the story of how a shameful and bloody crucifixion transformed into a victorious resurrection to everlasting life. We marvel again at Calvary where sin and death was conquered forever. Christ died in our place—the Righteous One for the unrighteous; the Sinless One for the sinful; the Holy God for the ungodly.
The exuberance of Easter morn is like no other day. And yet shouldn’t we celebrate the wonder of our living hope (1 Peter 1:3–5) each day of the year? Must we wait for Easter to roll around again to reclaim joy and hope?
A Post-Easter True Hope Challenge
Let’s try a different path this Easter. To perpetuate resurrection joy, the Leader Connection blog is bringing you a ten-day True Hope Challenge based on the Psalms. The Psalms provide an outlet for the combustion of emotions and confusion that we struggle to express. Throughout its 150 chapters, we discover hope in a Savior who has come and will come again in glory to make right everything that is wrong. Will you join me in soaking up the Psalms and applying it to our lives and ministries?