October 23, 2018
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.
I have attempted to generate joy and peace from within. I think to prove to myself that I am living in the kingdom of God. Paul tells us here that it is God who fills us with those attributes. It is His doing. I don’t even generate my own hope. That, also, comes from God by the power of the Holy Spirit. Humans try to prove their faith and their sincerity by doing stuff. In the verse above, the one thing we bring to the covenant is “believing.” God does the rest.
This is an interesting phenomenon. I feel like my belief in God has brought me the opposite of peace. Think about people you are at odds with. How much of the dissention is about God? And yet, according to today’s verse, He fills us with all peace. Peace is not according to circumstances. It could even be called ‘inner” peace. I read a biography of Oswald Chambers. He wrote, “My Utmost for His Highest.” That is one of the most popular daily journals of all time. In his later years, he was on the battlefield as a chaplain to the soldiers during WW1. Peace is far from experiential during a war. But, this verse was still in the Bible and still applied. The peace that Paul wrote about and that Jesus gave is not circumstantial.
John 15:33… I have said these things to you that in me you might have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world.
Our peace is in Him. And, in this verse, He lets us know that it is because of His words… I have said these things to you so that… If, in the last days, you find yourself surrounded by gun-toting, angry, people, remember Jesus’ words and find peace in them. That is what He gives. And, more than peace, He gives us hope. I have hoped for many things. God’s hope reaches beyond things. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13 that faith, hope, and love abide. “Abide” means they continue on past every circumstance. Hope is eternal. It continues after we end this thing called life. Many people have ended this life, died, with a smile on their face. The hope that God give us is the assurance that no matter what happens, we are with Him. He’s got this and He only does good stuff. Trust Him.