I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. Ephesians 1:18-21
We are all looking for a measure of security and certainty in life, and that is understandable given the sometimes shocking news of the day when violence breaks out, or someone discovers deep corruption in government, or there is an economic crisis. We are also shaken by personal loss and tragedy, whether an untimely death, an unexpected diagnosis from the doctor, or loss of a job.
We are all looking for hope. We want to believe that God really is in charge.
In the beginning lines of his letter to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul prays that believers will have hope-filled hearts. Hope is more than optimism, and it is more than wishful thinking. Many people live with a sense of resignation, just “hoping” that things will turn out okay. But there is no basis for the hope. It is no more than spinning a roulette wheel and “hoping” the numbers come up right.
If we believe in the kingdom of God, however, we can have hope that has a foundation—the strength, power, and authority of God. Jesus demonstrated that power every time he healed someone, or cast out an evil spirit, or spoke a truth that rang out and resonated as loud as a giant bell. And when Jesus rose from the dead and went to be “seated at [the Father’s] right hand,” God exerted this power and authority. Now Jesus is seated “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked.”
In other words, Jesus has definitively superseded all other powers. His authority is higher than any human government, higher than any evil power, higher than our bosses and our families and our friends and enemies. God’s reigning is an absolute truth. We just need the “eyes of our hearts to be enlightened” to realize it.
PONDER: What is one area of your life where you need to know “the incomparably great power” of God?
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•• PRAYER ••
O Lord, in whom is our hope,
remove far from us, we pray Thee.
empty hopes and presumptuous confidence.
Make our hearts so right with Thy most Holy and loving heart, that hoping in Thee we may do good;
until that day when faith and hope
shall be abolished by sight and possession,
and love shall be all in all.
Christina Rossetti, 1830–94
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Did you know that you daily have access to God’s incredible power? God is the one who strengthens and upholds us (Isaiah 41:10). We have access to this power through Jesus. Paul reminds us in Ephesians that we can have hope because of this incredible truth. We hope in God because God keeps his promises.
Read Ephesians 1:18-21. What is hope? How does God’s amazing power give us hope? God promises that his power will last forever. How does this encourage you? Where do you need to experience real hope?