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. Ephesians 1:18-19a
Hope is a powerful thing. Hal Lindsay said it well when he penned, “Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air…but only for one second without hope.” It seems hope is a necessity to both survive and thrive. In his letter to the Ephesian church, Paul erupts into a hopeful prayer. The verses above are part of that prayer.
Paul feels the need to pray that they will be enlightened to know their hope. Have you ever felt hopeless? Perhaps you need this same heart-enlightenment that Paul prays the Ephesians to have.
The question is, how does one go about getting the eyes of their hearts open to see hope? The rest of this text gives us some clues. I wish I could point out every clue here, but instead, I will focus on one clue that He leaves us.
Paul says that this hope has something to do with “the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.” Relationships with other followers of Jesus are part of the content of our hope. Wait, our relationships often cause us to feel most disheartened, yet Pauls thinks they are rich with hope? Imagine for a moment a community of people who all begin to behave like Jesus. It may not be easy to imagine at first, but if you can, it is one of the most hopeful images I can think of. Take a moment to imagine a community of people who all genuinely behave like Jesus. Now ask Jesus to give you one way to act like a person who fits that image. Step out and do that thing.
By Aaron Bjorklund