YOUR FIRST HOPE
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” — Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
The renewal of all things is meant to be your first hope in the way that God is your First Love. If it isn’t the answer to your wildest dreams, if you aren’t ready at this very moment to sell everything and buy this field, then you have placed your hopes somewhere else. Nearly everyone has.
You cannot move forward in your search for the palingenesia until you face this as honestly as possible. Palingenesia is the Greek word for “renewal,” which is derived from two root words: paling, meaning “again,” and genesia, meaning “beginning.”
If you’re not honest about where you place your hope, this will just be a curiosity; interesting, but not the rescue your heart so desperately needs. You hear about the Renewal and think to yourself, Well, isn’t that nice; I’d never heard it put that way, and go right on with your desperate search for the kingdom now.
Ask yourself: Where is my kingdom heart these days? Am I embarrassed by it? What am I presently doing with it? What am I fantasizing about? (Where you take your fantasies is a helpful way to know what you are doing with your kingdom heart.)
The Spirit of God is arousing us within… That is why waiting does not diminish us… But the longer we wait… the more joyful our expectancy. — Romans 8:23-25 The Message
Have you taken the time to consider where your hope is placed? My friend, it is so important to know where your hope is placed these days. Knowing this helps it land in the right places.
When your hopes are in their proper places, attached to the right things, not only do you flourish better as a human being, but you’re rescued from a thousand heartbreaks. For not all hopes are created equal; there are casual hopes, precious hopes, and ultimate hopes.
Casual hopes are the daily variety: “I sure hope it doesn’t rain this weekend”; “I hope we can get tickets to the game”; “I really hope this flight is on time.” Nothing wrong with this brand of hope; it is human nature to have it. I think it is the sign of a healthy soul when we often use the words “I hope.” My wife does. “I hope this pie turns out,” meaning she cares about the dinner she is hosting. “I hope we get to the Tetons next year,” meaning she cares about dreams and family memories.
Hope shows your heart is still alive.
O Jesus — what have I done with hope? Come and find my hope, Lord, for I give it to you. I want my hope to be placed in you alone.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. — Proverbs 13:12
Hope is so precious. It is your lifeline. Casual hopes show you your heart is alive, but they are nothing when compared to your precious hopes: “I hope this pregnancy goes well”; “I hope God hears my prayers for Sally”; “I hope the CT scan turns out to reveal nothing at all.” Precious hopes are far deeper to your heart, and they tend to fuel your most earnest prayers.
You’ll notice that many people have let their hopes go wandering — turning casual hopes into precious hopes and turning genuinely precious hopes into critical or ultimate hopes. The person who commits suicide because a loved one chose another has taken a precious hope and made it the outcome of their very being.
When a precious hope is dashed, it can really break your heart. It may usher in fear and anxiety. You may not recover for a week or five years, depending on the loss and the other resources of your life.
If you put your hope in something that cannot possibly come through for you, you will be constantly let down. It was never meant to play that role. Only God knows the depths of your desires. Only He can come through and meet your needs.
Jesus — rescue my heart and all my dashed hopes. You are the Healer; come and heal every lost hope in me. Resurrect hope, Lord.
Excerpted with permission from Restoration Year by John Eldredge, copyright John Eldredge.
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The year is fresh and new, barely out of the box yet. It’s full of hope. Are you full of hope? Hope in what? Do you need your hope restored? God is the One to put your hope in! Come share your thoughts with us. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily