"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as your trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope and power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13
I have to be honest and say that I am very hesitant to try to understand to any degree a verse that resides in the Book of Romans. This is a book that many very wise and successful teachers pray that the Lord never leads them to teach, preach through, or even dissect. It is a toughy! So I am just going to encourage you to take from this what you can, but please go back yourself and dissect it and see for yourself what it means for you!!
Have you ever tired to live without hope? Has there ever been a time when you thought all hope was gone? I have never been terminally sick, but I would think that might be a time when one might feel like all hope is gone. But is it possible? I can not help but remember the hope that overflowed from Jill and the Shea family as they together battled with their brother a very unknown and "untreatable" kind of soft tissue cancer. It very well may have been a strong moment - and I would think that too would be very reasonable to have those "strong" moments around a stranger (me)- but it was different too. I could just feel the stength and power and HOPE in the car as the mother, Mrs. Shea, explained about the cancer, the treatments they were trying, and how they were believing for a miracle. The same feeling came over the room - sense of HOPE - when I spoke with Jill Weiderholt (isn't that a cool last name) about her brother and his sickness. Her mom, Mrs. Shea, was nowhere around and yet it was the same - strong!! They were not taking anything but hope for an answer. It was powerful!
So I would think that for a Believer it would not be possible to runout of hope or be deplete of hope. The scripture above says that God is the God of hope. He can't help but be that and supply that hope!! But how - is there anything that is my responsibility? Yes!! The scripture also states that we must trust in Him. Not trusting in warriors, horses, or power as the Psalms read, but trusting in Him. I know for myself I can really think that I am trusting in the Lord and then find myself in a strong moment of doubt in a nano-second!! Is it possible to trust, but then not trust so quickly. I think it is. But I would also argue that there are those times that I am able to trust and it is beyond me. It is in those times that i see the results of trust - Joy and Peace as the scripture explains. I am "into" a situation and there is a calmness or peace and joy about me. Those are direct benefits of trusting the Lord or really I should say evidences of your trust - that you are filled with hope. I think that is really cool and a blessing. Thank you God of Hope!
Now look at this part - the second part of the verse. Can we explain what hope is exactly? When I try to put it into words I begin to recall the days of senior English when my teacher would demand us to describe a word without using that very own word. When I try to explain hope I keep coming back to the same word -HOPE! Hope, you just hope, you hope things turn out for the best, you trust in the hope He provides - it almost seems impossible to describe hope without using the very word. But God does it right here in this verse. "You may overflow with hope" - how do we know if we are overflowing with HOPE? We will be trusting in Him. And how do we know we are trusting in Him? We will have unexplained joy and peace. So what is the definition of hope as described in this verse????
Trusting the Lord Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit and as a result there will be joy and peace as you walk through whatever He has ordained for your life - at that moment!! So now as we pray we know exactly what to ask for so that we can see the hope of our Lord manifested in our lives. Lord Jesus, fill me with the Hope of You. Help me to trust You so that i can see the fruit of joy and peace overflowing in my life. This is the very thing that will bring You glory. Joy and peace through the worst of things will be an evidence of hope (YOU) in my life and for all the world to see. It is your will that I bring your glory and honor through all situations and my displaying joy and peace will be a direct result of that HOPE!!!! You are HOPE - I trust!!
Thank you Father!! I needed to hear that today and I needed to KNOW that!! I love you