By Stan Brown
Ephesians 1:18b so that you may know what is the hope of His calling,
The eyes of our hearts have been opened. Paul wants us to know and understand three things that greatly impact how we live out our lives as believers. The first fact that Paul wants us to understand is the hope of His calling. We must understand four things about hope in the Scriptures.
First, our hope is placed in and assured by God. The Psalms often speak of our hope in God, (e.g.; Psa. 61:7 With God is my deliverance and my glory; O God of my help—and my hope is with God). In the current context it is God who has called us to the blessings that Paul has just described. It is the Son who paid the price to obtain the blessings that God has promised. It is the Holy Spirit of Promise who is the seal that can never be broken. Our hope is placed in and assured by God.
Second, our hope is not that which we physically see. It is rather a hope that is seen when the eyes of our hearts are opened. Paul declares in his letter to the Romans, For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees (Rom. 8:24)? Our hope is based on the objective fact of what God has already done when Jesus died for us and rose again from the dead. Our hope is built on the objective evidence of how He has worked in our lives and the subjective experience of our relationship with Him. We look forward to the ultimate realization of all that is involved in the promises of God.
Third, our ultimate hope is laid up for us in heaven. Paul declares in his letter to the Colossians, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel (Col. 1:5). In his letter to the Thessalonians he writes, Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord (1Thess. 4:17). Our eternal future is assured by God. But not only that, it affects everything that we do right now.
Fourth, it stands in stark contrast to unbelievers who have no hope. Eph. 2:12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. As we look at the hopelessness of the world around us, we must be struck with the fact that we have absolute assurance that we belong to God. Let us pray for those that do not know Him that they may experience the same hope that we experience.
This hope is a result of God’s calling. He has accomplished it all in our lives. Hoehner writes, “Hope for believers is not the world’s wishful thinking, but the absolute certainty that God will make true what he has promised.” We may not physically see it right now but the eyes of our hearts have been enlightened so that we might see what is the hope of His calling. As I wrote yesterday “We have received the indwelling Holy Spirit which has resulted in the blasting of spiritual light into the very center of who we are.” We see this hope as the reality that it is. After all, Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Heb. 11:1).