I’ve been reading this one verse for over a week, and each time it gets more profound.
May the God of hope – Think about the attributes and character of God. Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer. Sovereign over everything past and everything future. He planned it all before time began, every detail of me and of my life, including the disastrous parts. He also planned the end of this story, and He is all powerful and will make it happen. And unbelievably, He loves me, He bought me, He adopted me as His child. This is the God of Hope. He is in fact Hope itself.
fill you with all joy and peace in believing, - OK, this is where it begins to catch me. Paul is praying that this God that we described in the previous paragraph, would fill me with ALL joy and peace. ALL. Really. That’s what it says. All. All is a lot. All is bigger than I am, how in the world is ALL going to fit in me? Remember the verse that says, “In Him we live and move and have our being”? So maybe that’s what being filled with All Joy and Peace is like. Like swimming in an ocean of it, it’s in me and all around me. Oh, but we didn’t finish the phrase. Fill you with all joy and peace in believing. Do you ever feel like believing is hard? Or impossible? Yet this phrase connects joy and peace with believing. Maybe it is trusting that God is in control and God has a plan that will work out for my good that brings joy and peace. Maybe that’s the peace that passes all understanding. Maybe it’s not about a peaceful happy life, it’s about Peace and Joy in Believing.
so that. Don’t ignore these little words. There is a purpose in all this. And it takes what comes before the so that to get to what comes after it.
by the power of the Holy Spirit – Ahhhh. What I said above about believing being hard. Maybe it’s hard because I’m not strong enough. But the Power of the Holy Spirit… that’s a different strength all together. That strength, that power, breathed life into man, caused Jesus to be born a man, and raised Him from the dead. That is true Power, and it is by His Power that joy and peace in believing happen.
And the end of this matter?
you may abound in hope. Hope. Hope that can keep me moving in the face of adversity. Abound in hope, not just a little hope but an abundance of it; not hope that maybe we might win, but Hope in knowing that God is in control of everything and I am just waiting for His plan to unfold. That’s trust again. But not trusting in myself, trusting in God.
And so abounding in hope feeds my trust and belief which fill me with joy and peace which feed my trust and give me hope. And so it goes, circling ever deeper in the ocean of His presence. Because in Him I live and move and have my being.
Romans 15:13 – 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.
©Rebecca A Givens, 04/06/15