Romans 15:13 - God of Hope.
Romans 15:13 - God of Hope.
Romans 15:13 (NKJV) Now may the God of hope fill you with all
joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power
of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13 (TNIV) 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 (GW) May God, the source of hope, fill you with joy
and peace through your faith in him. Then you will overflow with
hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Hope: The Greek term denotes "confident expectation" or
"anticipation," not "wishful thinking." [Nelson SB]
"Hope" is a unique word in Scripture, where it indicates
"confident expectation." The person with hope has complete assurance about
the future. And the overflow of the hope we have as we trust in God
fills us with joy and peace. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]
Paul again prays for the believers (as in 15:5). This time Paul
prays that the God who gives hope will give them joy (as they
anticipate what God has in store for them) and peace (as they rest in the
assurance that God will do as he has promised). Then, the believers can
overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is by the power of
the Holy Spirit that God accomplishes his care for his people--giving
them endurance, encouragement, unity (15:5), hope, joy, and peace.
Hope comes as a by-product of the Holy Spirit's work. It does not
come from our own senses or experiences. This is Paul's benediction
to his letter. What follows from this point are his personal plans
and greetings.[Life Application Commentary]
The Holy Spirit transforms the lives of God's people. He uses
His great power to do this, yet He does not overwhelm us. People who
do not know Christ are without God and therefore without hope (Eph
2:12). Christ through the Spirit brings us hope when we accept Him.
That hope must be nurtured and cared for, especially in the face of
persecution. To possess a steady hope that you will ultimately share in God's
glory is a source of great joy (Ro 5:2). Christians may nurture hope;
but ultimately only the Spirit keeps hope alive. We should pray that
God will help us to overflow with hope by the power of the Spirit.
Some days, it's hard to keep it together. You try to maintain
the right attitudes, to stoke your faith and expect God's goodness,
but circumstances seem to be winning the war of the heart. It feels
like an enormous effort to keep the internal peace. And that effort
sometimes takes energy we don't have.
That's okay. God understands those "I can't keep it together"
days. There's always mercy and the strength available in His Presence,
when we can find it. But what we really long for, and what He longs
for on our behalf, is that we have the deep-down peace that isn't an
effort to "keep together" because it's who we are. Sure, trying to
maintain the right attitudes is important, but we want to get to the
point where we don't have to try. We want them to come naturally
because our hearts have been transformed. We don't want just to tell
ourselves to be at peace; we want to actually have it.
God is getting us to that place. It's a process; the
attitudes of the Spirit don't come to us instantly. But the more we soak
in His Presence and fellowship with His Spirit, the more He fills
us with hope and peace. At some point these attitudes are no longer
self-imposed. They overflow from within.
Seek that ideal. You won't be perfect at it, but you can
certainly grow in that direction. His Presence calms the storms within you
without your having to keep a lid on them. He stirs up hope without your
having to manufacture it. He cultivates joy without your having to talk
yourself into it. By faith, let Him overflow.
Lord, I want to overflow -- naturally, through what You have
done in me. I accept Paul's prayer as my own. Give me hope, and keep
me happy and full of peace as I believe. [The One Year Experiencing
God's Presence Devotional by Chris Tiegreen]
Oswald Chambers makes a jarring assertion: "Life without war
Impossible? Didn't the angels on that first Christmas promise
peace to those of goodwill? Don't we constantly and desperately try to
avoid war of any sort? What is Chambers talking about?
"The basis of physical, mental, moral, and spiritual life is
antagonism," he writes. "This is an open fact of life. Health is the balance
between physical life and external nature, and it is maintained only by
sufficient vitality on the inside against things on the outside."
How starkly realistic! Countless harmful organisms constantly
invade our bodies, and only the vitality of our immune system keeps us
healthy. Mentally and spiritually it's the same.
In the early days of the computer, the acronym GIGO - Garbage
In, Garbage Out - became popular. In other words, if you put
"garbage" or nonsense into a computer, that's what you'll get back. In the
same way, if you put garbage into your mind or soul, that's what
you'll get back.
Just as our bodies are constantly at war with alien
organisms, so, too, our souls are at war with spiritual forces that seek to
debilitate and destroy us. We must have spiritual vitality in order to
survive and thrive.
Chambers sounds like a rugged, no-holds-barred coach when he
says, "I have to learn to score off the things that come against me,
and in that way produce the balance of holiness; then it becomes a
delight to meet opposition."
As in sports, we can score off the spiritual attacks against
us. We gain a lift from forces that look as if they will overwhelm
us. Chambers writes, "The surf that distresses the ordinary swimmer
produces in the surfer the super-joy of going clean through it.
Tribulation, distress, persecution, produce in us the super-joy; they are not
things to fight."
We're promised that God, the source of our vitality, can make
us more than conquerors.
Father in heaven, sometimes the forces against me - mental,
spiritual, and physical - feel overwhelming. Bring your vitality into my
soul, I pray, that I might welcome the challenges and get fully in
step with your Spirit. [The One Year Book of Encouragement by Harold
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