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, the riches
of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably
great power for us who believe. That power is like the
working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he
raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the
Here we have
some remarkable thoughts presented to us so we can live our lives
with confidence and certainty. The death and resurrection of
Jesus has surely given us the wonderful assurance that the
forgiveness of sins and eternal life has been extended to us.
But the difficulties, hardships and distractions of life in a
sinful world can often leave us uncertain about our lives day by
On the one hand
it seems to us that if only we could have Jesus physically here
with us, that would make all the difference. So why did he
have to ascend back into heaven? If we think about it, we can
understand that it just wouldn’t work if he hadn’t ascended, for he
can only be physically in one place at one time. However with
his ascension he can now be with everyone, all the time.
Through his Spirit he can be at work for us all no matter
where we are or what our situation might be.
The other issue
in this regard, is the one that continually vexes us as Christians.
If we are Christians and God is good, why do we experience so
much that is bad? Where is this good and powerful God in the
midst of the difficulties and tragedies of life?
Paul reminds us
of God’s incomparably great power for us who
believe. This power
is at work in our lives even now, working for our good and for the
good of his kingdom. Despite our sinfulness and that of the
world around us, God is now at work using everything that is
happening in our lives for good. Now we struggle to see how
many of these things can be for good, as they are bad and often
However, we know
that when all is going well for us, we all too often forget about
God and the things that are important in life. We know that
tough times often bring the best out in people. But mostly we
are reminded that the bad that is happening in and around us is a
result of our selfishness and sin. So it surely should turn
us back to God to seek his forgiveness and help to live in ways
that are good and appropriate for us as his people.
At the same time
we are reminded that the ascended Jesus has the power over
everything for the benefit of his church — all of us. He is
at work for our good! We all are his
body; he in us and we in him, all joined
together through our baptism into him. He is now with us:
everything that is Jesus is now with us and in us, for good in
every way. Now that is truly amazing!
This is the
assurance we receive as we consider our Lord’s ascension to heaven.
He has not left us all alone. It was his physical,
human presence that departed from this earth. But it was for
our good, so he and his Spirit could be with us all, as we face the
rough and tumble of living in a sinful world. We are not
alone. Our Lord Jesus is with us with all his power at work
for our good and the good of his kingdom.
Glandore/Underdale Lutheran Parish, Adelaide,