“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up your for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
During Christmas my family visited a local museum, we were there for the “festival of trees” which can only be described as tree extravaganza which local churches, various groups, and I think maybe some individuals decorating over eighty trees.
And every single one of them was truly magnificent,each with a theme or message, or both. And although a small “museum” it does hold a few treasures, one in particular was a sixteenth century (if memory recalls correctly) Italian “hope chest” that had belonged to some of the former “mansion” owners whose family home of yesteryear has now became a historical landmark.
The tradition of “hope chests” is quite the Victorian lure. The custom of young women collecting special treasures neatly stored away in the “hope” that one day all their romantic dreams and aspirations will come true.
This has been a custom in many areas the world over, many different names for these vessels of hope, but still in THE same hope.
And of course this isn’t so much a custom now in America as it once was, and a custom whose purity and beauty has been tarnished in many parts of the world due to the violence associated with the “dowry” concept, when those dowries haven’t been considered quite enough.
That is truly a disturbing and sickening thought that I did want to address, just to be clear that I am NOT would I ever condone this treatment of women, because these are two VERY different concepts.
A “hope chest” is WILLINGLY kept by the lady and a DOWRY is forcibly demanded by a groom.
But we do want to talk about hope! Anyone been needing a little hope? Or how about A LOT of hope? I will admit that my “hope chest” had been growing a wee sparse over the last year or so, more to the so… you know?
I write a lot about discouragement, battles, and storms and the ONLY way we learn about these things is by experiencing them. That is never fun and especially when we are so aware of the Lord, His goodness, mercy, and presence and YET we find ourselves in a “battle-royale” chest deep in water fearing every moment will be our last before we finally just become so tired and worn out and lose the strength to keep our heads above that water and in doing so… we would drown.
Ah, but hope… when hope finally does come shining through there is the new found expectation that soon everything will change.
Jesus told us about storing up our treasures, treasures not kept on this earth but in our “hope chests” which are located in the heavenly realms and safety kept for us there awaiting our arrival for that beautiful and glorious day when we as the Bride of Christ will open those precious chests and enjoy those treasures with the King Eternal.
The things of this life and all the worry and strife are but for a moment and our true hope, as the Bible so often comforts our concerns about IS eternal.
The things we “store” up on this earth can often unknowing be nothing more than negative rags and the ruined garments of hurt, envy, resentment, while a true hope chest should contain at least one beautiful new dress, as in our case.. that beautiful wedding garment provided by Christ.
But when our chests are filled to brim from the storing of the wrong items of this world, we have no more room to store those beautiful treasures that should be stored there.
And that is when junk has to be removed from that trunk and GOOD things put it.
Knowing that there IS nothing on this earth or of this world that can separate you from God as we are told in Romans 8.
Knowing that no matter what life, the devil, or all of hell tries to set in your path as a roadblock or hindrance, that God will USE that very thing as a catapult for YOUR good, also Romans 8.
Knowing that your sins are covered by the blood of the Lamb and will NEVER be remembered of God EVER and that your name is in the Lambs Book of Life and the TRUTH of your future and your eternal destiny can NOT be controlled by the enemy, people, or circumstance, that it can ONLY be affected by how YOU choose to proceed.
As the old saying goes… “No one can take us out of the Lamb’s Book EXCEPT us” and we can only do that but choosing to give up and surrender, turn back and go back and stay there.
Because if we do slip (and WE all do), when we do stumble, which is par for the course, (you ain’t gonna run a race without falling a couple of times) God IS faithful to pick us back up ,we repent and GO ON.
These thoughts and mindsets ARE the materials, the wood, if you will, that builds our wonderful heavenly storage “chests” and all the pieces are held together and fastened by hope.
The greatest of all hope, the hope and assurance that we are saved!
We start this mindset by REMEMBERING these things and MEDITATING on the truth of the promises given us through the Word of God, which IS our guide through this life.
Philippians 4: 4-8: “REJOICE in the Lord alway: and AGAIN I say, REJOICE. Let your moderation (gentleness) be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Be careful for nothing (try to NOT be anxious or uneasy about ANYTHING); but in every thing BY PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION WITH THANKSGIVING LET YOUR REQUESTS BE KNOWN UNTO GOD.
And the PEACE of God, which passeth all understanding (goes beyond anything we can imagine), SHALL KEEP YOUR MINDS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST.
Finally brethren, whatsoever things ARE true, whatsoever things ARE honest, whatsoever things ARE just, whatsoever things ARE pure, whatsoever things ARE lovely, whatsoever things ARE of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, THINK ON THESE THINGS.”
Keeping our minds on the good things, lovely and pure that are worthwhile bringing praise and honor to our Father.
And keeping our hearts and thoughts ( and I promise I KNOW how hard this can be) steadfast where they should be, but this is the effect will be peace in your heart and soul.
Colossians 3:1-4: “If ye then be risen with Christ, SEEK those things with ARE above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. SET YOUR AFFECTION ON THINGS ABOVE, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, (to the world) and your life is hid with Christ in God. WHEN CHRIST WHO IS OUR LIFE, SHALL APPEAR, THEN SHALL YE ALSO APPEAR WITH HIM IN GLORY.”
Now that IS exciting! And that IS hope!
So if your going through a rough patch or many rough patches,take comfort knowing that you are not alone, and the strength you gain by overcoming this bad season in your own life while continuing the work storing your own treasures will be a comforting story and testimony that you will share to give someone else courage to keep building their own hope chest.
But know that we are never alone, God IS always with us and you can guarantee that other brothers and sisters in Christ are having their battles also, so you are not alone, start “rearranging” your hope chest, I started rearranging my own.
And if you are in a good season and your storms have passed use this fresh peaceful season to decorate your treasure box with the beauty of praise and worship, the lilies and roses thrown at the feet of the King!
Thanks for reading! Love & Peace till next time!
May God bless you and all you set your heart to do for His mighty Kingdom. I pray your HOPE in Jesus Christ builds your faith into a masterpiece.
Φλογιζω NLB 2018
If you need a little stirring to REMEMBER that hope, close your eyes and listen to this song! (shared from Youtube)