“Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere, 16 I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, 17 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. 18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope He has given to those He called—His holy people who are His rich and glorious inheritance.” Ephesians 1:15-18 (NLT)
Paul begins his letter with a prayer that spills out in gratitude and praise. He writes of God’s greatness, grace and glorious purpose. Why did Paul begin with such resounding praise? So you can know.
Heavenly and Earthly Wisdom
Paul continues his prayer asking God to give us wisdom—spiritual, God-given understanding. It’s not the kind of understanding that is simply factual. Paul’s prayer is that we would know Him better. God reveals Himself in all creation; He wants to be known. God imparts on the believer a supernatural understanding of Himself. It’s a divine and glorious honor, reserved only for the believer.
A Confident Hope
When I am trying a new recipe, I hope the finished product is yummy. When I am learning a new skill, I hope I am able to produce the desired outcome. When I write, I hope you understand what I am trying to convey. There is an element of uncertainty in the hope I have in my skills and abilities. I may or may not be able to accomplish what I set out to do. Paul prays that we may understand the confident hope we have in Christ. Christ is THE factor that turns a wish into a confident hope, a sure thing, and an absolute truth. Paul prays for our understanding of that hope.
What is that confident hope? Read verse 18 of Ephesians 1 closely: “I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope He has given to those He called—His holy people who are His rich and glorious inheritance.”
God considers YOU an inheritance—prized, valued and purchased. Knowledge and understanding is what Paul prays for you and me. Can you begin to fathom that? The God of the universe, pure and holy, considers frail, sin-sick humanity as a valued inheritance. To understand that you must understand the value God places on humanity.
God sent His Son to die to reconcile us. That is value! Jesus’ blood purchased our redemption. That is confident hope—there is power in the blood of Christ—power to redeem and purify the sinful heart. God invested Himself in His own inheritance—US!
Father, may I come to know You better! Illuminate my understanding of the hope I have in Christ. Let me come to understand the love You have for me and the desire You have for me to know and love you more.