“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you…” (Eph. 1:18, NIV, bold emphasis mine).
When you look ahead towards the future, is your heart full of positive expectation for what is to come? If not, then you probably need Holy Spirit to cultivate more of His gift of hope in the core of you. This devo is going to look into what makes such a thing possible.
This will be my final post riding on the current that Holy Spirit has stirred up in me, about beholding the glory of the Lord. Today I want to delve into how gazing on His glory in steadily increasing degrees is intricately tied into the development of hope in our lives.
As you meet with God in the secret place, He starts to enlighten the eyes of your heart, enabling you to perceive Him more clearly. The more you gaze on Him, the more you get to know Him. This is what He means by “beholding the glory of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18).
As you gradually build intimate relationship with Him, little by little, you come to see Him as He really is. Everything about His glorious, beautiful heart is made known to you in ever-increasing ways. What results from this is a spontaneous growth of hope inside of you.
“How?” you may ask. This is how. When you come to understand, deep, deep in your heart of hearts, how tenderly, fiercely, and relentlessly He loves you… how utterly cherished you are… in what capable, gentle, mighty hands you are held… then all your thoughts about what is to come become sealed into a cocoon of hope. A God so good, so fervently devoted to you… One who has pledged His everlasting love to you… could only have the most precious of plans for you. Thus, coming to know Him through close communion breeds living, burgeoning hope in your being.
The passage in 2 Corinthians 3 on which we have been ruminating tells us that we need Holy Spirit to take away the veil that keeps us from looking at God (vv. 15-18). When, and only when, He removes this shroud of unbelief from our hearts, we can begin to behold His glory. Then we can get to know Him more and more deeply. Then hope can start to thrive and flourish in our spirits.
Hebrews 6:19 also makes reference to this veil: “This hope we have… both sure and steadfast… enters the Presence behind the veil” (NKJV). The hope that Holy Spirit incrementally develops inside of us takes us further and further into God’s presence. It moves us entirely beyond the veil that used to keep us from seeing Him.
We can conclude, then, that seeing God produces hope; and hope, in turn, allows us to see even more of Him! What a breathtaking cycle upwards in ever-increasing glory!
Let’s pause and think further about this for a moment. We know that beholding the glory of the Lord causes hope to blossom in our lives. We know that we need that hope for our spirits just like we need oxygen for our lungs. This can only mean one thing. We desperately need to make space in our lives to gaze on Him and drink in His glory!
As we digest this principle, Holy Spirit does not want us to get down on ourselves about how much or little we have begun to walk in these truths. Our growth in both hope and intimacy with God must, by nature, take place gradually. Sometimes we are tempted to be frustrated when it feels like we are progressing very slowly. However, we are guaranteed, as Hebrews 6:19 assures us, that what He is doing in us is “both sure and steadfast!”
So then, resting in His promise to complete the good work He has begun in us (Phil. 1:6), let’s start where we are! With profound passion and ardent hunger, let’s make space today to draw near to Him and behold His beauty.
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