It seems we hear daily of another senseless act of violence, loose living leaders forfeiting their credibility, proclamations of hate, and the rising sense of uncertainty and fear in our culture. Phrases such as; “What’s the world coming to?” or “What will the world be like when my children grow up?” are frequent. We can understand why. These may be dark days we are living in, but we cannot afford to live in fear. Instead, we must remember that light shines the brightest in the dark. Jesus hasn’t called His followers to grope in the darkness, but to stand on the hilltop and shine the light of His hope.
If we are going to shine His light during uncertain times, we must keep our on hearts enlightened. During a recent reading of the book of Ephesians, my heart was renewed with hope. Let me share with you 3 simple truths full of light that will have a profound impact if we let them sink into our soul.
- God’s plan will not fail
God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. – Ephesians 1: 9-10, NLT
There is a key word in this passage do you see it? it’s the word, “everything.” With all the pain, suffering and evil in the world a sense of hopelessness can gripe our hearts, but it will never grip God’s. We can’t see the future, yet God is the future. We have difficulty understanding how any good will come from the mess we create. But, God has already written out that all things will ultimately come under the authority of Christ.
- God’s plan for you will not fail
Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan. – Ephesians 1: 11, NLT
God has had a plan for us since before we were conceived. His plan has been to conform us to the image of His Son – Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). The process begins the moment we trust in Christ alone for our redemption, the forgiveness of our sin. To the first century Christians living in Ephesus, Paul wrote, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.” (Ephesians 1: 13-14)
- There is no power greater than God
This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. 21 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. – Ephesians 1:20-21, NLT
What separates Jesus Christ from all teachers, philosophers or religious leaders who have ever existed? The resurrection! Only Jesus has defeated the grave. God overcame death, hell and the grave on that first Easter morning and He uses that same power today to defeat every attempt of evil to derail His plan.
Hopelessness depends on fear, but the empty grave declares there is hope and no need for fear.
The Bible proclaims this hope in Romans 8: 38-39,
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. – NLT
These truths can fill us with expectancy if we let them. Perhaps that is why Paul shared with the Ephesians believers how he was praying for them. May we follow suit and cover each other in prayer…
- Pray we come to know Christ deeper and more intimately.
I pray for you constantly, 17 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. – Ephesians 1: 16-17, NLT
- Pray we comprehend the incredible hope Christ offers.
18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.– Ephesians 1: 18, NLT
- Pray we never forget our God is in control.
19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. – Ephesians 1: 19, NLT