What is your hope in life? Hope is confident expectation of something good in future. For many of us, it may be based on relationships, health, work, money, power, knowledge and so on. If you think about it, the things which gave us hope in the past may not be the source of hope now and it may be changing over period of time. Also there is so much despair around us to crush the hope and many of us struggle with hopelessness and even fall in to depression when we don’t find hope in life. What can give us the sustaining hope in life and after? How can we live in such confidence?
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory. – Ephesians 1:13-14
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13
When reading Ephesians, i am reminded of this blessed hope which is not temporal but everlasting. It is the hope that we are saved from eternal death. It is the hope in Christ who made all things possible. It is the hope we have inheritance through Jesus. It is the hope that we will have eternal life. It is this hope which sustains us through all the struggles and hopelessness in this world. God has given us the holy spirit as a seal, who gives us confidence and guarantees us of this blessed hope.
What does this seal represent? Seal was used in similar purpose in times of Paul as it is now. It represents ownership, protection and authenticity. Now, we mostly see seal in official documents. Think about it, if we are to handle a document sealed by the president of a country. Would you dare to tamper with it? Whoever sees that document with the seal will understand that it is authentic and belongs to someone with authority.
9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.-Romans 8:9
When we believe in Jesus, God seals us with this holy spirit and we belong to him. Christ paid the price for our redemption and bought us to be his own and gave us everlasting life. God adopted us to be his children, we become members of his family and his spirit lives in us as a witness to his ownership. God lives in us through his spirit and with this seal in us, we have God’s protection and no one can dare to snatch us from his hand (John 10:29). Holy spirit is a proof that our claim to be part of God’s family is authentic. With the holy spirit’s presence in our life, we can have this hope and confidence for our future.
In historic times, seal was also used to identify ownership in lumber industry. After negotiation, buyers would put their unique seal on the lumber they bought. Their purchase can be redeemed then or at later time based on their seal. God gave us his spirit who testifies about our hope of future. We can have unshakable hope for this life and after when we have this seal on us. God gives us his spirit as a deposit for our future inheritance. His spirit is the guarantee that we have all the promises given to us and much more yet to come in the glorious life. We can have confidence that on the day when we meet Jesus, we will be entering to our promised inheritance of eternity. This blessed hope fills us in this life.
Look around the happenings in the world, if we have to get hope from it, our life have to be filled with complete despair. Our life’s circumstances may look hopeless, but let us trust the one who gives us this eternal hope. Let our life be filled with the fruits of the holy spirit, which gives us the confidence everyday and makes us to raise above the circumstances in life.
Do we have this seal in our life? If we say we have the seal, do we show the evidences of the holy spirit’s presence? Trusting in Jesus and having the seal of God is life altering change and it will have the proof of authenticity. Do we have the fruits of spirit in our life (Galatians 5:22) ? Through his word and spirit, God provides us with the confidence for our future and we can have that hope abundantly when we live in Christ.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.