Walk in Wisdom – Gleanings from the Scripture
Eph. 2.16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what it the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places.
Stability in life is hard. Even for Christians. We get hurt. We suffer loss. Disappointment comes. Loved ones die. Some close to us remain far from Christ. A particular sin constantly strives to gain control. The world around us is chaotic. And even those who we love and respect in the Church, fail. Wisdom escapes us. Sadness surrounds us. Joy eludes us. Seasons of dryness and distance from God frighten and unnerve us. What are we to do?
Some would just say – hold tight. Grin and bear it. “Praise the Lord in all things.” All things you’ve no doubt said to others at times. I have. Things which while true, rarely equal real counsel. Not when you’re the one suffering.
So how DO we remain stable in such times? What are the anchors for the soul in such storms? Where do we go for safety and rest? To texts like the one before us today.
In the short span of these 5 verses, the Holy Spirit has laid a hiding place of such granite stability, it can weather anything. It is a profound, three-legged stand. An un–tippable perch. An inviolable fortress. A strong tower to run into. A place of ultimate safety for the heart and mind. Weary Christian, God has spoken to you here. He wants you to know there is help. Not some milk-sappy sentiments. Real, solid, life sustaining, God-prepared, provision. Help. When there is none to be found in all the advice and inventions of man.
Look at the first thing He calls us to consider. It requires a work of His Spirit to be accessed. But because we are indwelt by Him, we can take advantage of it. So Paul prays, that the eyes of our hearts would be enlightened. This, so that we might know hope. Not hope in the abstract. That we might know what the hope is to which He has called us. What He has meant for us all along. What His heart of love has set aside for us. What His deepest love and mercy delights to give us. Our hope – is the absolute guarantee of our eternal future with Him. In Col. 1.27 Paul puts it this way: “God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Beloved, this life is but a mist (James 4.14). Our experience of it in pain, is of its length. But our experience of it in retrospect, is always of brevity. Especially when weighed against eternity. And we are asked to seek out a sense of that glory to come. To fix upon it. To look forward to it. To rejoice in it. To long for it with great expectation. To believe the promise of it. And to believe that if Christ has gone away to prepare it, how magnificent must it be? To lay hold upon a life that does not end here. A life that barely even begins here. To live as those already possessing eternal life. To live as though these pains and heartaches here are but birth pains. Temporary, giving way to inexpressible joy. Not just that the best is yet to come – but that we’ve never even really seen good yet.
Everything we see, touch and hear here is tainted. All around us is stained by the Fall. But not there. There all will be well. every tear wiped away. No sorrow. No grief. No despair. No dark night. No endless pain. No pain at all! Not even the slightest discomfort. Nothing but endless joy and sweetness and wonder and pleasure. Nothing but Christ, the All in All.
Hope dear one. Not just that things will get better. No. Hope for the hope He has promised us. Hope for Him. For the joy that was set before Him, Jesus endured the cross. And for the joy set before us, we can endure, because of the cross.
Hope beloved. Hope in Christ.