Bible Verse: I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13, NLT
Scripture Reading: Romans 15:1-13, Psalm 27
The new year is right around the corner, which will bring an opportunity for setting new hopes and goals. What are your hopes for the coming year? A successful year at work? A relationship to be mended? A health concern to be resolved? A stronger relationship with God?
We can sometimes casually use the word “hope” — we hope there’s no traffic, the weather will be nice, or the Leafs will win the Cup. We wish those things might happen, but there is a sense of uncertainty that they might not.
At the end of his great letter to the church in Rome, the Apostle Paul prays a simple but potent prayer for them. He prays that the God of hope will fill them with joy and peace, and as a result, they will overflow with confident, Holy Spirit-powered hope.
This kind of hope is not a weak aspiration but is firmly grounded in expectation.
We need that confident prayer today. Maybe more than ever, we need to be filled with joy and peace in a depressing and divided world. But for Paul, this is not a wish but a certainty because the hope of joy and peace is grounded in God’s person and character.
Our lives and world can feel like a battlefield with challenges and culture railing against us. Placing hope in economic conditions, political parties, or new technology can disappoint us. But hoping and trusting in God can bring us the joy and peace we desperately need.
There’s an epic battle scene in The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, where the hero, Aragon, encourages a young fighter who is scared. The imminent conflict between the outnumbered people of Rohan and an endless evil horde seems hopeless.
At that moment, Aragorn enters his destiny as a fearless leader with four simple words: “There Is Always Hope.”
Tolkien’s story may be fiction, but the sentiment is reality. There is always hope, no matter what we face. The God of all hope will bring us joy and peace for the year ahead when we trust Him.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for being the source of all hope, joy, and peace. Let my life overflow with confident hope. Amen.
Reflection: Are there places where you have placed your hope that has disappointed you? Do joy and peace mark your life?
Copyright © 2023 Impactus. All rights reserved.