It’s almost three weeks into the new year, and probably most resolutions are already long forgotten. The buzz of a new year, and a new decade, has faded into the daily grind of work, school, meals, etc. It’s hard to remember the illustrious plans we had for the new year when our dishes and email inbox start filling up again. It’s not that those goals are any less true, we just forget them. One key I have found to successfully completing resolutions is simply to remember them.
Left on our own, our hearts and minds are quick to forget. Not only do we forget fleeting things like yearly resolutions, we forget who we are and what we have in Christ. That is why when Paul prays for the church at Ephesus, he prays, “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 4:18-19a, NIV).
Paul isn’t asking that God would give the church in Ephesus hope. No, they already have all the hope they need in Christ. Instead, he is asking God to open their eyes to the hope that God gave to them at salvation. They needed to remember who they are and what they have in Christ. We need to be reminded of this truth, too.
It’s week three of 2020, and I can definitely feel hopelessness creep back in. The bright hope of Advent seems to fade with the cares of this world. How much longer will this adoption home study take? Why does my husband’s engineering licensing exam require so much studying? What if this year doesn’t turn out like I planned? Only months ago, I wrote a blog about the hope I have in Christ, yet it is already so easy to forget.
We all need to be enlightened by God on a daily basis. It’s not enough to have a yearly reminder on January 1st or a weekly reminder on Sundays. We must daily take our dim eyes and dark hearts back to the foot of the cross and have God open our eyes to the hope, riches, and power we already have in him. Because the light that guides our paths does not come from inside us (as the world wants you to believe) but from outside of us. Hope is not something we conjure up in ourselves—an emotion or belief we can work on. No, hope is embodied in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The only way to live with hope is to behold the God of hope every day through prayer and Scripture.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Romans 15:13).
So I am praying for you and for me, that today (and tomorrow and the day after that), God would open our eyes and our hearts to remember the hope we have in Christ, the glory of eternity with the Father, and the power of the Holy Spirit within us. It might be too late to get perfect Activity rings on your Apple watch for January, but it’s never too late to remember God’s glorious gift of hope.