Friday, August 12, 2011

An Image of Hope

What does hope look like?  The image that comes to my mind is the picture of light.  It is the sun rising in the east to chase away the night.  It looks like Gandalf coming to the rescue to overwhelm the forces of darkness with the power of light.

Depression and hopelessness can rightly be described as darkness, and many times that darkness can be very overwhelming and oppressive.  In the midst of it you feel isolated and alone and you wonder if it is ever going to end.  This darkness can almost seem as if it is alive as it tries to drag us down into the pit of hell.  All our energy is spent and our hope is dried up and so we give into the temptation to give up and to quit the fight for our hearts and our lives.

Thank God we don't have to fight alone!  The apostle Paul tells us that we have been rescued from the kingdom of Darkness and we have been brought into the Kingdom of Light:

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:13, 14; ESV).
Jesus, who is the light of the world, chases away the oppressive darkness, which is the result of sin and death, through the power of His resurrection.  When we surrender to His will and put on His armor (Ephesians 6:10-20) we have the ability to overcome the darkness and to grow into the people God desires us to be.

The Good News of Christ Jesus is founded on the reality that the same power that raised Him from the dead and established Him as King can, and does, reside in us.  So in Ephesians the apostle Paul urges us to pray and ask God to flood us with His light so we can live with confident hope.

 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 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, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all (Ephesians 1:15-23; ESV).

The darkness does not have to win. With the power of Jesus Christ we can be victorious over the sin, shame, and depression that robs us of true life.

Lord Jesus fill me with Your light and life so I can be a person who shines in the darkness, bringing hope into this dark and dying world.

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