Do you like New Year's? I don't mean the parties. I mean the new year. For some people a new year means a new beginning. For others it means more of the same, especially if hope has been replaced by the endless drudgery of survival.
In either case, I want to give you a good reason for real hope. The Bible says in Ephesians 1:18 “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he (God) has called you...”
Did you get that? God has called us to hope! He wants to give us hope.
The apostle Paul goes on to say, he wants us to know “his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength which he exerted in Christ Jesus when he raised him from the dead...” (1:19,20)
That's a lot of power! And Paul says that power is at work for us and in us. That power has a specific purpose. God's plan is to set us free from the sin of the past that has kept us tied down, held back and failing all our lives. He wants to set us free to live new lives that are filled with the kind of life he intends. Eph 2:10 calls this new way of life “good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
You see, we were dead in our transgressions and sins (2:1). “But because of his great love, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive in Christ...” (2:4,5)
Just as God raised Christ from the dead, he has raised us from our death in sin, and we are alive again. This new life empowers us to be different because the life we now live is in Christ. Christ begins to live through us. Christ's desires and ambitions become our desires and ambitions. Christ's choices become our choices. Christ's actions become our actions. Christ's life becomes our life.
I believe this spiritual transformation makes a real difference in the most practical aspects of life. It fills us with new direction. That gives us hope. As hope is gradually fulfilled we start to be transformed, filled with joy, peace and love.
Not every problem will flee. But we will have new strength to face all that comes.
Paul, in fact, is so filled with hope he writes, “Now unto him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work in us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations.” (Eph 3:20,21)
I don't know about you but I can imagine a lot. But I won't comprehend the power of God at work in me, until I experience it.
Happy New Year,
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.