It might help you to ask, How is my hope these days? Where is my hope these days?
To shepherd your first hope for the treasure it is, you need to be aware of what you are currently doing with hope right now. Have you attached precious hopes to causal things, your first hope to just about anything?
Several years ago I had a dream come true, a lifelong dream to bow hunt moose in the wilds of the Yukon. We were as remote in the wilderness as I’ve ever been. After our floatplane dropped us off to make the farther trek into the Jennings River valley, our guide told us the wildlife we encountered would probably never have seen a human being. Wolves. Grizzly bears. Moose so large they stand eight feet at the shoulder. It was a breathtaking experience, and I had so much hope set on it. It was the trip of a lifetime. But like so many things in this life, the reality fell short of my expectations. The weather wasn’t good; we didn’t sleep well; the moose weren’t around.
As those precious I-will-never-do-this-again-in-my-life days ticked by, the emotional roller coaster was miserable: hope and despair, hope and despair, every day. Hiking back to camp the night of day six, cold and dejected, I finally prayed, Jesus, you’ve got to catch my heart. Suddenly this verse from 1 Peter came to my heart: “Set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1:13). It was not what I wanted to hear; I wanted to hear, Your moose is coming! But Jesus knew exactly what I needed. Set my hope fully on his return? I don’t think at the moment my hopes were even set partially there. Not in practicality; not in day-to-day living. I believe in the kingdom; I believe everything I have written here. But I keep giving my kingdom heart to things like that dream trip; I keep putting my ultimate hopes in places they shouldn’t be.
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