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, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
I’m sure that lots of people have prayed for you over the years. Maybe it started in your house as a kid. Maybe it was at church or in Sunday School. Perhaps it was when you were sick, and someone touched you while they prayed.
All prayer comes from hope. The words really don’t do anything. They are not a formula to accomplish something. Prayer is where we speak to God for him to act. Prayer is never supposed to be about us, it’s all about who God is and asking him to do something.
In any kind of hope, there are two sides.
First, there is the promise maker. This is where hope starts. It’s like all those rocket launch countdowns that we’ve watched. They all slowly, predictably, count down the minutes and seconds till they hit ten. And somewhere after nine we hear those powerful and memorable words, “Ignition Sequence Started” followed by the rest of the countdown until liftoff.
Second, there is the promise keeper. This is what we’ve been hoping for. Since the promise was made, we’ve held onto hope in him. And finally, the promise keeper comes through. It’s not that we’ve done something, but that God has.
These two sides of hope are like hitting a monster home run. The ball leaves the bat with a sharp crack and there is no doubt about where the ball is going. It’s outta here. But you can’t just stand there. You still have to leave the batter’s box. You still have to touch all the bases. You still have to cross home plate.
Some people run around the bases. Some people jog. Some people barely walk. The time it takes from the crack of the bat till crossing home plate is the time when we live between praying and receiving an answer.
It’s so important to realize that God himself is both the promise maker and promise keeper. We are in partnership with him, but it’s all about him. And during the journey, we are to live a life of hope. Paul describes the three kinds of hope we receive.
Calling – this is God’s invitation to us. He calls us by name, and we become part of his family, receiving life-giving salvation from him. He always does the calling. He always initiates the relationship.
Riches – the overwhelming, overabundant value of his inheritance that he gives to us, not because of what we’ve done but because of who he is and our being part of his family.
Power – this power isn’t just out there somewhere, but it’s in us and on display. Whenever God acts, it’s always with power, and to point people back to him. And he’s never short of power either.
Boy, do we like to talk about the riches. And the power is great too. But we jump right over the calling. Riches and power change the circumstances of life. But the calling is something altogether different.
The calling changes our name and who we are. God’s calling takes us from one kind of life and puts us in another. God’s calling moves us from one neighborhood to another. God’s calling puts us into a new family for the rest of eternity.
God’s calling is not something to be afraid of. It’s not a subject to be avoided. It’s something to be embraced and thankful for.
God has called you. Did you know that? The question isn’t whether God has called someone or not.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9
Will we read and hear these words? He is patient. Period. He absolutely is patient. Does he want only some to come to repentance? No, he wants everyone to come. You. Your family. Your friends. Your neighbors.
Hope is right there in front of you. It’s the call of God. He’s calling you. Will you respond?
What kind of promise maker and keeper is God?
What do you think when you read the words that you are called by God?
How has God giving you a new name changed the way you think about yourself?