• Jason Wade


18 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. Ephesians 1:18

We conclude our week of focusing on hope by beginning the transition from hope to heart. Sunday we will be lighting the candle that represents love, and we will take the time truly step into that word in a way that I pray will also give you hope and joy for this advent season. But today we take one final in depth look at the word HOPE. As we look back to this week, we have been challenged to see hope in so many different aspects of our lives and our personal ministries. I pray that you have been able to see with new eyes the reality of how we are to continue to stand on guard and help others to experience this amazing HOPE that we have been surrounded by our whole lives. Once again, it is in the action of the taking hold of that hope and applying it in our lives and our surroundings that makes it come to life. Just like the teachings on wisdom from Solomon and Jesus, if we only read the words and don't find ways to apply them in our every day lives, they become void and meaningless. We must break free from the scales that are still on our eyes and once again see the HOPE that we have of a Savior who came to forgive us our sins and fight to once again be a LIGHT to reclaim the lost.

So many times I still believe that many of us walk through life with our eyes open but completely blinded by the world. We are unwilling to truly open our eyes to see and recognize that there is so much more that we are called to do but the frustrations of life continue to dampen our dreams and our hopes to move forward. Many of us feel as though there are only so many times that we can handle the rejection, the uncertainty and the chaos and we are ready to wipe our hands of the entire mess. I am saying to you today that is not the power of the HOPE that we believe in through the power of Jesus. I am saying that we

have been called to open our eyes and see what God has intended for us to see and sometimes that means that we see it all not from our perspective but from the perspective of God. Plain and simple, that means IT'S NOT ABOUT US!! Whew, hard words to digest, but words that we need to be reminded of on a time to time basis. We have to be willing to see beyond the masks, beyond the walls, beyond the things that sometimes make no sense and realize that God is stretching and renewing our minds to see things in a completely different way. We have to let go of the old tendencies that we have that things are supposed to go the way I want them to and realize the HOPE that God placed inside of us reminds of the scripture that WE MUST DECREASE so that HE MAY INCREASE.

We start to see this a little more clearly in the Scripture for today. We are to see ant Paul is challenge not just the people of Ephesus, but the disciples of today to recognize that the days ahead may not be always peas and carrots, but that in the victories and the defeats, we still have a HOPE and a JOY that God is going to be victorious in the end. We have this assurance through the power and the working of the Holy Spirit. There is a connection that we continue to have with God and with each new day, the Spirit of God continues to offer to us the HOPE that regardless of our current situations, God is still in control. God still has a plan and God is going to take every moment of our lives and pour into our hearts if we are willing and able to open our hearts to see and believe fully in the power of God's plan for not just our lives, but for the lives of everyone He created. That is a big pill to swallow and my hope and prayer is that through this scripture and the ones we dug into this week, you were able to see that hope in a new light. I pray that we are all able to realize that there is so much more to God's plan and that we are a major part of God's plan being revealed and fulfilled. It all comes down to making a decision to step out of our boxes and step into the promise of God.

See we can live with this HOPE of a promise and a future because God is true to His word. Look at the last part of the scripture for today and really take it to heart today. Paul says, "that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people." We have been connected to God's creation by this HOPE that was knit together in all of us from the beginning of our existence. But even greater than that is the assurance that God has something greater in store for us, a "glorious inheritance" because of God's love that was given to us through the life of Jesus Christ. So as we move

through this advent season, may we all continue to open our eyes to our hearts and and allow the HOPE OF GLORY, which is Jesus Christ, to infiltrate and renovate us all from them inside out. May we take every moment and hold on to the HOPE that God revealed through the life of Christ and continues to renew with us each day through the work of the Holy Spirit. Each day I wake up, regardless of how good or bad the day may start, I am still reminded of the HOPE that one day I will spend eternity praising and worshiping God in heaven. So may my eyes be open and my words be filled with the same hope to every person that I encounter so that they too will have the ability to receive this amazing gift of Grace that none of us deserve but that God so freely gave to the world. With every breath, may I live out the HOPE that I claim victory over this world in the name of Jesus Christ. Open the eyes of my heart O Lord, that I may reveal the HOPE that the world has lost sight in seeing.

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