I am so excited to go home for Thanksgiving in a a few days! I am beyond ready to see family and friends and the metro Detroit area. It's really funny, because every time I drive home I am reminded how much of a Michigander I truly am. When I cross the border into Michigan, never mind that I still have about 2.5-3 hours left to drive, I become giddy with excitement because of that welcome to Michigan sign. It's wonderful. Not that Indiana isn't nice, but there's just something about Michigan. Probably because most of my family is there, but whatever the reason, I love it!
Anyways, let's jump back into Ephesians. I am so excited for this time with you. I have been fighting exhaustion for the past couple of days and this time of diving into the Word with you refreshes me so much. So, here we go!
"In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope."
This verse seems to paint a pretty bleak picture doesn't it? But here's the good news: this was before we met Christ. This was our previous state. We were living without Christ and because of that we were living without hope in a world that so desperately needs hope to survive. We didn't know the first thing about the promises of God and what they meant to us. We didn't have a relationship with God. We had no hope.
I think that's the part of this verse that keeps hitting me over the head right now. We had no hope. We were living without God, going our own way, and because of that, we had no hope. We were hopeless, until we met Jesus. When we encountered Jesus and entered into a relationship with him, our whole lives were changed. We had hope. Suddenly, the world wasn't pushing us down and crushing the life out of us. There was a ray of light, a life line, a hope and his name was Jesus. I love that this verse directly relates us being without hope to us being without God. Because Jesus didn't just bring hope, he IS hope. He is our hope for the future and for now. What a beautiful promise!
But do we live like Jesus is our hope? Do our lives reflect that truth? Can a person who doesn't know me see that I live a hopeful life, a life that radiates Jesus? I think it is so easy for us to become hopeless and to not look any different than the world around us. If you just watch the news for a few minutes, it's easy to become discouraged. But that's where our hope in Jesus comes in. Jesus didn't promise to make everything better here on earth, right here and now, but we do have his promise that there is hope for the future. One day everything will be perfect again. One day our hope will be realized and seen. But for now, it takes faith in that hope. It takes faith in Jesus. That he will do what he has said he will do.
Let's keep our eyes focused on our hope this week.