I have been enslaved before. I've been a prisoner of bad habits, technology, thinking patterns, other's opinions, busyness and laziness (to name a few). There are many forms imprisonment can take. We can be enslaved to people, relationships, food, emotions, drama, money and the things which it buys. All of these jailers confine and strangle and suffocate. But there is One who is set apart from all the others.
"Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you" (Zechariah 9:12).
"Rejoice greatly . . . Shout! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation . . . He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth" (Zechariah 9:9-10).
I wish to be a prisoner of hope, a hope that does not disappoint. I wish to be a bondservant of the God of hope (Romans 5:13) that does not destroy, but restores -- a double portion!
I am tired of being entrapped by the cares of this world. I am tired of the tiny confines I find myself in, cells of my own creating with walls of selfishness, worry, carelessness and other sins. Instead, I'd like to run to the Fortress whose home is wide and spacious. So today I I'm journeying to my Strong Tower:
I'm setting my mind on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2).
I'm fixing my eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of my faith (Hebrews 12:2).
I'm committing myself to the encouragement of the Scriptures that give hope (Romans 15:4).
I'm anchoring my soul to the hope of God's unchanging promises through Christ (Hebrews 6:19).
I believe that The King is returning someday. I believe that, like the Unicorn in The Last Battle, we will be able to say, "I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that is sometimes looked a little like this." I believe in a New Heaven and a New Earth.
But for now, we wait in the shadow. "But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?" (Romans 8:24).
And I believe that Hope will someday be Reality. So I don't want to lose sight of that which is real, that which is good, that which is more than what is here in front of me. I'm tearing down walls that confine, and I'm letting my mind be captivated once again by hope.
"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope -- the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:11-13).
I'm praising Him today that in His hope there is great freedom, and I am remaining captivated by His enduring love and His generous abundance that allows me to count to 1,000.
Gifts #257 - 287:
a God of Hope
a Hope to come
that it will be MORE
that we can count on loving it because of the good we know here
Prince Caspian . . . a movie to remind me again of a world to come
good authors, such as C.S. Lewis
cool night air for sleeping
beautiful morning walks with The Thinker
first soccer games played and won
two teams of players we love
a husband who loves to coach his boys
Baby Girl wrote on the piano keys with purple crayon, not purple permanent marker
the terrible twos are just a phase, even if entered early
a husband's help
coming home late to a cooked meal
the smell of clean laundry
a washing machine