Ephesians 1:18c “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you man know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.”
God has riches waiting for you, glorious riches in heaven. This is your inheritance, your “new-birth” right as God’s children. That sounds good. It sounds great. But it may seem a little vague. Have you ever noticed that when God describe heaven, he usually talks about the absence of the things we don’t like? It is the place with no more sorrow, no more pain, no more hunger, no more tears, no more sin, no more death.
When it comes to describing what heaven is in a positive way, God himself seems to be at a loss for words. Later in this same letter Paul says that God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. And heaven is one of those things that defy human words, because it is more than our little brains are even capable of imagining.
So Paul tells us it is the riches of a glorious inheritance. What do “riches” mean to you? Is a millionaire rich? Is a billionaire rich? Do we even know how much that really is? If a billion people made a human tower, they would stand up past the moon. If you started counting from one to a billion, it would take you 95 years to finish. If you found a goldfish bowl large enough to hold a billion goldfish, it would be as big as a football stadium. A billion seconds ago it was 1980. A billion minutes ago the Apostle John was still alive. A billion hours ago our world hadn’t been created yet. A billion dollars ago was earlier this morning at the rate dollars are spent in Washington D.C.
Of course, the riches of heaven aren’t measured in dollars. And a billion is something we can imagine, as we have just demonstrated. The riches of our glorious inheritance far exceed all this, more than we can even imagine. And yet, it is not more than we can hope or believe. Another place Paul writes the Corinthians, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him–but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.” Maybe human words can’t describe it. Maybe our minds can’t fully picture it. But God’s Spirit has still revealed it in a way that our believing hearts embrace and long for. Though the eyes of my body don’t see the riches of my glorious inheritance, the enlightened eyes of my heart and faith do. I believe that yours do, too. It is part of your Christian calling–to see that your future is full of glorious riches now, and to know that you will live in them forever.
As much as we ought to be fighting for a place in line to receive what he is giving away, he doesn’t wait for that to happen. He has found us and called us to receive it all by faith. Doesn’t that calling speak to our situation now? I want to hear God’s word at every opportunity, because that is how he flips the switches in my soul and turns the lights on for my faith.
I am not going to expect a life free from trouble or trial. I am not going to let them destroy my hope, either. The fires of affliction refine my faith. I know that God is on my side through them, because he has called me to his side. There may be battles ahead, but in the end the Lord doesn’t lose.
I am more than the graying, middle-aged has been with poor eyesight that the world sees. In Christ I am far richer than the world’s super rich, because all the treasures of heaven belong to me. Don’t we, then, have confidence for our life of service now as well as the life of glory to come? Christian, this is your calling. See it. Believe it. Let it change your life.