“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
Since then, I’ve found myself coming back to it frequently. (I also wrote it on an index card in the most delicious shade of pink—how can I miss it?) I love picking apart God’s Word. I’ve found that just about everything we’re told or shown in the Bible has at least two layers or two meanings. Isn’t that just like God? Nothing wasted and everything to gain.
In reading this verse over and over again, two things stood out. The first part, “the God of hope,” tells me that, just as Christ is the author of our faith, He is also the creator of our hope. We can’t accomplish this within the confines of our own ability. If we’re to truly know a hope that endures, we must pray and let God do what He does best.
Which brings us to the second part, “overflow with the hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” This last part affirms what we’re told in the first. Again, it’s only by God’s power that we not only know hope but overflow with it as well. I don’t know about you, but this lifted a weight off my shoulders, knowing the hope I want most will come from God and not me. Yet another thing I don’t have to strive to accomplish. (Whew!)
Now the deeper layer in this hope-filled nugget. (Or the creamy filling, if you prefer.) In reading the Bible, I’m finding one word is constantly used in association to hope and faith. If you guessed trust, you’re exactly right. Look at the verse again. God tells us that HE will fill us with joy and peace as we trust in Him, so that (have to have one in order to accomplish the other) we can overflow with hope. Joy, peace, and hope can’t exist where trust is lacking.
I believe our trials are designed to do just that—to bring us to a place of complete and total trust in God. No, this process won’t be completed until we join our Lord and Savior in the heavenly realms, but so often I’ve heard our time here is more about preparation for what’s to come. (That’s what I tell my teenagers then they get frustrated with the here and now—it’s just a blip in their eternal lifeline.)
So if you’re struggling to find hope, trust in the fact that we serve an ever-faithful God and call out to Him to restore, renew, and build your hope. Write this verse down and pray it every day. Replace the “you” with “me” or your name. This is a vital weapon in the battle for our faith, our hope, and for our unbelieving spouses. God didn’t just give us his Word to read. He gave it to us to use—to learn and grow, and for battle and protection.
Finally, the most precious layer of all. (Like I said, God wastes nothing.) God has absolutely everything we need. He planned it that way. He never intended for us to walk this path alone. He’s right there, waiting for us to ask. Or just to sit at his feet and bask in his glory. Or to pray verses written on bright pink index cards.
Tomorrow I’ll be looking for a new verse. I’m thinking I might use purple this time.
Praying and Believing,