“remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.” (Ephesians 2:12, NIV84)
I read this verse and could not help lament over our society today. We as Christians understand that hope is directly tied to our relationship with God. He is the reason we have hope. Only His promises and provisions give us the ability to have hope in what at times seems like hopeless moments. The point Paul is making is that the further God is from our world, the further hope is going to be. If one does not believe in God, He cannot have hope. Not true hope. Think about it for a minute. If we are all here by random chance and are living in a random existence with no reason or purpose for our lives, what hope can we muster up for ourselves? The best we can do is conjure up some feeling within that says I believe/hope it will all work out. But on what basis does one have that hope? It is rooted in a wish, not a certainty. A world where God does not exist cannot offer anything to it than what is; and that is matter, energy, and chance. Our society is on the brink of losing its hope because it has gotten rid of God. Our society no longer has God’s Word and actions to give it purpose, meaning, and hope. We are all left alone and hopeless.
But this is not the case for those who know God and who have come into a relationship with Jesus Christ. We have a certain hope! Friends in Christ, we have entered into the “covenant of promise” that God has made with His people. That covenant of promises tells us that there is purpose and meaning to our lives. It tells us that there is more to this life than living and dying. It assures us that God will be with us every moment of our lives. He will get us through our times of trials and suffering. He will sustain our faith and hope by indwelling us with His Holy Spirit. He will provide us all we need to get through this life and into eternal life. What a difference God makes! What a difference when we can place our hope in something bigger and truer than the world we live in.
Today, let the light of your hope shine in the world of hopelessness around you.