Ephesians 1:3-18. 3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places… 16I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17that 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, 18having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you…
Where would any of us be without hope? Hope is what moves every human being. Hope is what gets us out of bed in the morning. Without hope we would literally die. We need it like we need air to breathe. With enough hope we can withstand anything. It is truly one of the most powerful forces in the world.
Stop and think about it – everything you do every single day, every decision you make, is made from a place of hope. Whether big or little, in that decision you are hoping for something, some outcome. Hoping the lunch you ordered will taste as good as it looked on the menu board. Hoping she will say yes to a date on Friday night. Hoping you will pass the class or find success in the project you started. Hoping that marrying him will bring happiness. Hoping that this church won’t judge you and hurt you like the last one.
Holocaust survivor, psychologist, and author Viktor Frankl famously said “Those who have a ‘why’ to live can bear with almost any ‘how’.” That is the power of hope. Hope is also one of the Apostle Paul’s favorite words (he uses it over 50 times). It is one of the three graces, along with faith and love, that he speaks of so often together. Without hope there is not faith, and without faith there is not love – our entire lives hinge on hope.
Star Wars: A New Hope. Hope launches revolutions and romance…and the gospel.
And so here in Ephesians 1 after praying for the knowledge of God, and for a spirit of wisdom and revelation, and after declaring that the eyes of our heart have been enlightened, Paul tells us the result – that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you.
God has blessed us with knowledge, wisdom, revelation, and enlightenment so that we can know our hope. The hope that God himself has called us into. Our destiny. Our purpose. Our meaning. God doesn’t want us to wander aimlessly. He has no intention for us to ever live in the despair of hopelessness. No searching blindly. No scratching our heads. God may not tell us the details of our day to day lives in advance, but he has called us into a glorious and knowable hope. And it is a person.
Our hope is Christ. Our calling is Christ.
Colossians 1:27. Christ in you the hope of glory.
Romans 1:6…you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ
1 Corinthians 1:9. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
The hope to which we have been called is the glorification of Christ Jesus by the Father as all things are brought under his rule and reign (1:9-10). This is our hope – his eternal glory and our eternal transformation into his love and holiness by that glory.
It is an objective hope: it is not founded in our subjective feelings, our own fleeting “hopes and dreams.” It is rooted in the historic fact of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. And your union with his objective life, death, and resurrection.
It is a certain hope: biblical hope is a life-changing certainty about the future. We may hope for a restful vacation, or hope that we get a pay raise, or hope for healing. But these are all uncertainties. Christ is certain. His return is certain. Your resurrection is certain. God’s promise is certain.
It is an eternal hope: hope is only hope if it lasts forever. Otherwise it is a hope that will run out. But the glory of our union with Christ is a forever hope. It will never run out. Never fade. Never grow dim. Never ever ever end. Because Jesus’ life is an indestructible life our hope is an indestructible hope.
It is a glorious hope: our hope transcends the suffering, trials, and tribulations of this life. It is a hope that takes us beyond anything merely earthly and connects everything earthly to the heavenly.
It is a knowable hope: this is Paul’s prayer – that we would know the hope to which we have been called. It is knowable because Christ Jesus is a knowable savior and our God is a knowable God. This Hope is not elusive or hidden or wishful thinking. It is waiting there for us to grab hold of and experience it’s life changing power.
“To live is Christ” is a calling into hope. The hope of our union with Christ’s life. His eternal, certain, glorious, and true life. Our hope in him makes life worth living. It makes all suffering endurable, it makes all failure transformable, and it makes all joy eternal. The great blessing of grace is that our hope is not in ourselves but in Jesus. The One who will never leave us or forsake us. Forever. What grace.