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
Last night I put together my Christmas card for the season. As I am sure you understand, that required a huge undertaking of investigation through loads of pictures. As I reflected back on the year, I experienced a myriad of emotions. Oh, there were exciting moments this year and some that literally tore my heart out (You will be happy to know that my card reflects the happy moments and not the sad ones[Symbol]).
As I chose pictures and began to think about my wish for my family and friends, I ran across this verse, “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.” While I used another verse in my card, this morning I cannot shake the depth of this verse.
Walk with me in this moment while I unpack it’s incredible wish.
The God of Hope
I recently was in a conversation with someone and he explained that the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament seem very different to him. While my initial reaction was defensive, the thought intrigued me to dig a little. My probing God’s word led me to understand and accept one truth, THE GOD OF THE BIBLE IS THE GOD OF HOPE FROM BEGINNING TO END. He was the hope for Adam and Eve as they understood their mistake. He was the hope for Noah, the only man of faith. He was the hope for Abraham and Sarai as they waited for a child. He was the hope for the Israelite nation as they continually rejected Him and His blessings. He was the hope of King David as he reflected on his horrific mistake. He was the hope for Gomer as she came back from slavery. He was the God of Hope when He sent His son to the earth. He was the God of hope when He offered His son to die for the sins of the world. He is the hope for the world as He offers a relationship with Him.
Will Fill You
The Greek word for fill is pléróma. In reviewing the Biblical definition, you will find that this word indicates fullness and completion. It is so very difficult for each of us to understand God completely, but for just one moment picture with me, if you will, your Thanksgiving meal. You know that feeling when all is said and done and you simply cannot put one more piece of turkey in your mouth. Or that moment when you think you never want to see pie again! The literal feeling of fullness is exactly what God desires to do when He gives us something. He doesn’t sprinkle just a little of his gifts. No way! He gives to the fullest. He gives so much that it is complete.
God doesn’t exaggerate! Yep, it says all.
With Joy and Peace
Joy and peace are like peanut butter and jelly. They simply cannot be separated. What God gives is peace that transcends circumstance. Contentment. Calm.
As you trust in Him
Trust. Trust. Trust. Trusting in Jesus requires something that is difficult for many. It requires believing in something that you can never touch or see. It requires hearing the word of God, accepting the word of God as true, and then making the truth of God our own truth. That friend that finds himself questioning the truth of God that I referred to earlier, is really struggling with trusting God. I know of that struggle myself at times. Even when I teach the word of God, there are times that believing and trusting God to be in charge of my life is difficult. When I find those moments difficult, I try to look back in my life and remember what God has done for me in the past. Remembering His work in my family and those that I love always brings me back to Him. Then I simply ask Him to help me with my unbelief.
So here is my Christmas wish for you:
May the God of Hope (The eternal giver of hope) fill you (to fullness and completion) with all (no exaggeration) joy and peace (peace and contentment that transcends circumstance) as you trust in Him (believing that God is who He says He is!).
Dig Deeper |
Action items |
Make a list of all of the heroes of the faith that James lists in Hebrews 11. Next to their names, list why they were faithful. Ask God to give you the faith that each of those demonstrated.
Dear Jesus, help my unbelief and my lack of trust. Soften my heart so that I can relax into your plan. Lord, as I go through this season, fill me with your joy and peace so that I can experience all of your hope. Amen.
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