I’ve been in charge of the woodstove lately, and since my good husband is recovering from surgery, I have learned that as long as I have a half cord of kindling and the equivalent of a Boston Globe, I can, indeed, start and maintain a respectable fire. I’ve started collecting bark and small pieces of wood in a bucket that I keep near the stove, and the role of this kindling is to burn fast and hot so I can add larger pieces of wood that will burn for a long time.
While I’m feeding the stove, I’ve noticed the connection between fast-burning kindling and the kind of truth Peter fed to his readers in his first letter. They were experiencing persecution and needed help in keeping the flame of hope alive in their hearts. Peter was quick to remind them that they had been “born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
The Tinder of Truth
The apostle’s first response was a swift application of the tinder of truth:
- Their inheritance in Christ is imperishable (1:4)
- They are guarded by God’s power (1:5)
- Their necessary suffering is being administered by a sovereign God (1:6)
He brought reasons for hope to their minds like I bring kindling to the fire in my woodstove.
And so today, in the same way, we can use our minds to stoke the fire of hope in our prone-to-wander hearts. If we forget the promises of God’s word, hope dims, flickers, and dies. Remembering God’s faithfulness in the past and staying close to the record of his good intentions toward you as recorded in the pages of scripture feeds hope. The mind becomes a servant of the heart. As John Piper has said, “Biblical thinking serves passionate hoping.”
Let’s commit ourselves to biblical thinking and watch the fire of our hope in God begin to burn brightly!
May everything good from God be yours,
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