In HOPE

 

 

 

  In HOPE 9.15

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David Timms  

 

 

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 Prayer for Today

Father, when my shoulders slump, my head droops, and my eyes drop, lift me again into the calm of Your control. When I let fear well up within me, quench it with confidence in Your calling. When death itself threatens to break me, may I see more ... more of Your promise and more of Your power ... that I may stand firm with You and in You. Amen.

Scripture 

"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 the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms."
(Ephesians 1:18-20, NIV)

 

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“... hope ... inheritance ... power ..."
(Ephesians 1:18-20)

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Seeing More

Everyone sees that the strong survive, the quick make the profits, and the educated get power. Schoolyard bullies and corporate bullies play the same game, but on different fields. The violence, abuse, greed, sickness, and corruption all around us frighten us ... and rightly so, when it's all we see.

And even biblically literate Christ-followers can drop their line of sight to the chaos around them rather than the calling beyond them.

The apostle Paul's first prayer for the Ephesian believers remains pertinent and powerful for each of us today ... that our hearts be enlightened to know the hope of our calling, the riches of our inheritance, and the tremendous power of God for us who believe.

But we too easily miss the thrust of the passage.

We have confidence in the future, an inheritance which comes after our death, and power to raise us from the dead. It's not the common message of immediate fame, fortune, prosperity, and health.

As we grapple with job-losses, home foreclosures, debt collectors, troubled children, deaths of loved ones, the shame of past decisions, raw wounds inflicted by others, and so much more, we can easily descend into darkness. Harsh circumstances seem to highlight our weakness and insignificance, and can plunge us into despair.

A little "enlightenment" could go a long way. In fact, the journey of faith must take us beyond weekend worship and casual fellowship. To survive and thrive amidst the brokenness we experience will demand more than gritty determination.

We need fresh vision. We need to see more.

Don't misinterpret Paul's prayer as fatalism -- a passive acceptance of life's hardship and grim endurance until it's finally over. Not at all!

Enlightened hearts set us free right now -- free to act courageously, free to forgive, free to endure disaster without despair. Enlightened hearts, gripped with hope, confident in blessing, and dead certain of resurrection, transcend the chaos.

They see more. Therefore, they live more.

May the Father give each of us a fresh glimpse above the horizon, today.

In HOPE –

David

 

 

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You can find back issues of "In HOPE" (2005-2009) at http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/ .

David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.