“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, NIV84)
This is one of my early memory verses. It is so powerful and speaks so clearly as to what makes Biblical hope so unique. I think, we think, that hope is something we have to well up inside. I think we, at times, place more burden upon ourselves during tough times because we are trying to control our feelings and emotions through it all. But the fact is, it is not our responsibility to do anything more than to open ourselves to God’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit. Notice what Paul says above, “May the God of hope.” He is the source of hope, not you and me. He provides it along with joy and peace. We are simply asked to trust in Him. We are to believe that He will deal with us as faithfully as He has dealt with others in the past. True hope begins when we turn away from ourselves and turn toward God, who alone can give us what we need. It is the God of hope who will fill us with all joy and peace!
As we talk about hope, how much would you like? Paul says in the verse above that we can overflow with hope. When was the last time you had more hope than you needed? God is a multiplying God. He doesn’t ever just give us enough to get by. He always gives more than we need. He has given us more love, grace, mercy, compassion, peace, joy and hope than we need. He does this so that our lives will spill over into the lives of others. We are like a fountain that overflows for others to experience, and maybe even reach out and touch. God uses His work in us to effectively begin His work in others. Note one important point: this overflowing with hope is always a byproduct of the Holy Spirit working in our lives. In order to experience the benefits mentioned above (hope, joy, peace, overflowing) we must be in God’s Word and in touch with the Holy Spirit who works through it.
Today, may we each have the kind of hope that overflows.