“I pray also 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.” (Ephesians 1:18–19, NIV84)
In this verse Paul prays that the eyes of our hearts are enlightened so that we might know the hope to which God has called us. Just in that thought alone we are being told that there are depths and layers to this hope we have. It takes the power of the Holy Spirit to enlighten our understanding of what all this hope really means to us.
Paul then goes on to explain one of the layers of our hope. This layer of depth resides in the “riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints.” Our hope is not uniquely ours. We do not have a one-of-a-kind hope that is ours alone. We share in a collective hope that all the saints share. When we cling to our hope in Jesus Christ, we are joining saints who have done the same thing for centuries. The hope we have is the same hope that Adam and Eve had of God in the garden of Eden. This hope is connected to God’s glory, and it awaits an inheritance that only He can give us. We can be sure that our hope is certain and true because of the vast number of people who shared this same hope before us. And let’s not forget the millions of people who hold onto that same hope today.
Note also that Paul tells us that our hope is rooted in God’s “incomparably great power for us who believe.” As we live out our daily lives clinging to God’s promises and faithfulness, it is not by our strength alone that we must maintain our grip. Thank God that our faith and hope does not depend on how strong we are. Our faith and hope find help from God’s divine strength working in us. We have the Holy Spirit living in our hearts and souls. Our grip is strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit working and living in our lives.
So today our idea of hope is broadened as we contemplate its connection to the saints of old and the power of the Holy Spirit working in us.