The Hope to Which He Has Called You
Ephesians 1:16-19: "I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe."
After the trauma of 2020, we all could use some hope for 2021. There is certainly hope in the vaccine that is already being administered; hope that 2021 will bring back a sense of normalcy in how we can relate to family, friends, and neighbors; hope that maybe all this heartache will allow for new unity and peace within our country. Hope is a good thing; it is a God-given thing. The question Paul wanted us to wrestle with in his letter to the Ephesians is what is our hope grounded in - this world or God?
When Paul prayed that hearts would be enlightened, his desire was that believers in Jesus Christ would see through the empty promises of this world and into the eternal and secure promises of the Lord. Paul saw hope offered through the glorious inheritance of the saints. That is the promise that one day believers (the saints) will see Jesus face to face and that he will have prepared an eternal home for them.
Beyond this eternal hope, there is also hope to be found in the immeasurable greatness of power available to us to overcome the world. Jesus has already defeated sin, death, and all the forces of evil. Through the Holy Spirit, he has given every believer that same victory both in this life and the life to come. As I write this, I am interacting with my prayer group and interceding on behalf of a friend's precious daughter. While she struggles in a relationship, we are asking that God would break the unhealthy chains of that relationship, that this beautiful daughter of the king would see her value to the Lord, that she would be empowered to make painful short-term decisions that will lead to long-term healing and joy. We pray with trust that God can do this in her and for her through the Holy Spirit dwelling within her. Because of God's immeasurable greatness of power, we have hope!
The hope Paul had for the Ephesians is the hope he would have for you. May we embrace the hope that can be found in Christ alone as we venture boldly into 2021!Reflection:
In what or whom is your hope grounded? How would the Lord like to give you new hope today?