Importance of hope 1:18
Hope can be undervalued in the modern western church when compared to love and faith. This may be because for many life is comfortable, health care is readily available, a financial safety net is provided by the state and most people do not live in physical fear. Advertising encourages us to trust in a host of products and lifestyle choices all of which have an overblown and temporary benefit. We know that hopelessness opens the door to depression and a range of mental illnesses. Hopelessness will also impact on our physical health and removes purpose in life. What do you place your hope in and how trustworthy is the promise of that hope? Ephesus was a hard place to be a Christian, to be a Christian in Ephesus meant you belonged to a minority and were subject to a wide range of discrimination and threats. When we experience significant problems and threats whether financial, health, discrimination or physical danger a certain hope becomes highly valued. At some time in our life we will face such situations and then having a confident hope will maintain our faith and relationship with God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. For the Christian our confidence does not rest in our ability to have hope but in God’s promise and capacity to fulfil his promise. It is God who has called us, he loves us, he wants us and we are his inheritance. In verse 18 it is the saints’ future hope and God’s inheritance. “God looks forward to enjoying forever the people he has saved.” (ESV Global Study Bible p1663) The Spirit wants to enlighten the eyes of our heart now to the hope we have so that we are prepared when challenges arise.