I never owned a hope chest, although I hoped! It was a tradition that was already obsolete by the 1950’s. The practice of filling a hope chest with items useful in setting up house came from Europe around the 18th century. A young girl’s “trousseau” consisted of handmade bed linens, table linens and embroidered items. I often wondered what happened to that hope chest and its contents when it was clear that marriage had passed one by. Perhaps giving it away signaled the end of hope.
Today speaks of a hope that never puts us to shame. Unlike unfulfilled hope in a human love, our hope is placed in a love that has already been poured into the heart of a believer. The Holy Spirit is our seal of ownership, guaranteeing what is to come! (II Cor. 1:22). Hope in this sense is a sure thing with no possibility of disappointment or shame. This hope grows stronger and stronger as we see the Lord come through for us when experiencing suffering (verse 3). Hope grows by persevering through that impossible situation. Our hope is obvious to everyone through the strength of character that comes from hanging in there (verse 4).
Hope that is ill-placed is wishful thinking that makes the heart sick when unfulfilled (Prov. 13:12). My hope is sure being based on God’s faithful promises. My longing for love is absolutely fulfilled in my relationship with my Creator. He never disappoints and I am never put to shame. He always comes through and someday I will see the glory of God up close and personal!
My hope will forever be in You, Lord.