by Lt. Colonel Deslea Maxwell, Assistant Territorial Secretary for Program
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, NIV
Have you ever had your trust shattered? I’m not a huge Facebook fan. However, from time to time I love reading the memories that come up on my wall.
Recently, one reminded me of when my husband and I were serving in the Papua New Guinea Territory where we journeyed to one of the remote villages to conduct weekend services. During our afternoon discussions with some of the corps personnel, I was ushered toward a white plastic chair. The moment I sat down, it gave way and I ended up, unladylike, on the ground. Once I got up, dusted myself off and the flushed color in my face disappeared, I realized perhaps I wasn’t the first person to end up on the ground when sitting in that particular chair for it was tied together with sewing thread. To this day, I tentatively— after quick examination—sit on plastic chairs. It’s a trust thing.
When I read Romans 15:13, I have to ask myself if this verse describes me. Do I “overflow with hope” as I put my trust in the Lord daily? Despite what is happening in my life, is this hope within me welling up and influencing those around me? Is my life filled with all joy and peace as I trust in Christ?
This description of the believer comes from knowing God. The more I put my trust in Him and walk with Him daily, the more this hope will overflow from my life to the lives of those around me. This hope is not only a future in Heaven but a present reality through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
But how do we obtain the kind of faith that helps us overflow with hope, even in the midst of trials? There are perhaps a lot of things melded together that bring about this overflowing hope, but one essential way is to know God and His ways through His Word. God’s Word shows Him to be faithful to His people in all kinds of trials. He is completely trustworthy. And it is the Holy Spirit’s power within the life of the believer that produces His holiness in us as we trust in Him in our daily spiritual walk. And so, Paul says here, it’s the power of the Holy Spirit who produces in us His fruit of joy and peace as we “trust in Him” and experience Him by faith so we “overflow with hope.”
You see it’s all about trust.
In your everyday living do you trust God to see you through every situation? Do the words joy, peace and hope describe you? I pray, despite the difficulties we sometimes encounter, that you have sensed the settling presence of God in your life as you’ve placed your trust in Him.
In our everyday living God has called us each to share His joy and peace with those around us. My prayer for you is that the God of hope will fill you with all joy, peace and hope as you trust in Him.