Today we are looking at Romans 15:13, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (NASB) This verse is an encouragement for me today, especially. My family is going through a hard time right now, and the way things look on the surface, it’s difficult to have hope in the situation. But this verse tells me that God is “the God of hope”.
God know each one of us, and He knows what situations we are facing. When our hearts break, His also breaks. When we rejoice, He is right there rejoicing with us. Jesus knows what we go through because He has been there. Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” (NASB) The word “tempted” can also have a meaning of being tested. Satan is always looking for ways to test us to see if we will stay faithful to God. Especially, new Christians. The enemy brings doubt and accusation, telling us that now that we are Christians, we shouldn’t be doing the things we did before, and if we do, then maybe we really aren’t a Christian at all. That my friends, is a lie straight from the pit of Hell! The enemy tried to tempt Jesus when He walked on this earth. But notice, Hebrews says that Jesus went through the temptations, but didn’t sin. Therefore, He has experienced the same things we have, and He came through victorious!
When we go through trials, God gives us Hope. Notice our verse today says that God’s hope will fill us with joy and peace, and when He does that, our hope in Him will increase through the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. I can rest in the knowledge that God has this, and even though we may go through the trial, He has the solution, and in the end, what we go through is for our good. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” This verse has been a “go-to” for Christians since I can remember. Although it is true, God works all things for our good, what we may be going through may not be good. When my first husband died, this verse was recited to me, I don’t know how many times. At that point, I wasn’t very receptive to that verse. How could my husband having strokes that eventually took his life, be good? How could me being a widow be good? It took me quite a while for me to realize that the verse doesn’t say everything will be good, nor that God gave us those trials. But what it says is, that God takes the situation we are in and makes good out of it. Then we can have hope. His blessing of working through the situation is a result of the hope we eventually can obtain.
Today’s verse also says that God will fill us with “joy and peace in believing”. As we increase faith in God and what He promises, hope increases, faith increases, joy increases, peace increases. We become filled with these gifts from Him. That allows us to rest in Him.
Sometimes the things we go through are of our own doing. Then we reap the consequences of our actions. So, does that mean that God didn’t know what we were going to do and didn’t stop us? No, He knew, but because He gives us free will, it is up to us to be obedient to His will, and when we aren’t then we must pay the consequences and then there are lessons to be learned, sometimes the hard way. The take away I get from that is, God is always there, waiting for us to come to ourselves, and realize that His way is always best, and when we have learned what it is that we needed to learn, then we realize that the experience was for our good, so that we move to the next level in our daily walk with Jesus. He gives us hope through the trials, He gives us hope that will strengthen our faith, and help us to walk in a manner worthy of His calling.