“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him so that your lives may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
God is an inveterate gift giver. He loves to pour out goodness on His children and Christmas is a good time to remember that.
One of the gifts He’s given us through Christ is the privilege of personal worship and the powerful positives that flow from it. Such worship is focusing on our triune God, praising Him for who He is, standing in the light of His presence, looking away from the temporal to the eternal, setting our hearts on things above—these all give Him glory and bring transformation in our souls.
Here’s a worship entry from my prayer journal, meditating on Romans 15:13 which lists out other gifts our good God loves to give. “May the God of Hope….” and that is what you are, Lord: the God who is hope, who brings hope, who calls us to hope—a hope which is a rock-solid certainty based on your unchanging, perfect character—you promise and you deliver.
Praise you for your desire to fill your children “with all joy and peace….” This says so much about you, my Lord God. Not just some joy and peace, but all joy and peace. You give us a joy that is unquenchable, unalterable by the difficulties, tragedies and suffering in life, because you, the unchanging God are its source.
You give us a peace that is sure and sound, deep and dynamic, restful and responsible. As we confess and receive forgiveness, you give us peace with you, peace with ourselves, peace with others—a vibrant peace, a powerful peace, a renewable peace, one which can be restored each time we sin. You are truly the God of joy and peace, giving us in abundance these deep qualities every person longs for.
Then comes our part: “as [we] trust in him….” Praise you, Lord, for the role you have given us in having this joy and peace. We must trust, believe, live in the truth of who and what you are. As we look away from the problems, aggravations, disappointments and difficulties of life and look up to you, it is clear that we can trust you in all that comes to us. You are the Great Shepherd, the All-Powerful King, the Everlasting Sovereign, the Ruler of the universe, the Lord of Glory, the Spinner of the earth, Bringer of the dawn, the Beginner and Ender of time.
We can trust you by responding with praise, no matter how painful our situation is, because you, in your wisdom, grace and mercy have allowed this for good in our lives and for glory in yours. Forgive us for the many times each day we trust ourselves and not you and therefore complain.
Praise you that trusting is the doorway to more blessing: “trust…so that your lives may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” The more we trust you, the more joy and peace you give us and the more Holy Spirit-empowered hope we receive, leading to more praise and positive trust.
And as we trust, we become a cup of hope, a basin of hope, a spring of hope, a river of hope to everyone we meet, for it will flow out in our attitude, in our words, in our actions, in our reactions.
Glory be to you, O Great and Powerful One; you are Wise and Loving, Just and Merciful. You provide so that we may give you ever-increasing glory before the world!
Prayer: “Forgive me for being busy here and there with this and that, and not spending time with you, Lord Jesus. Help me to be in the Word, in personal worship, in prayer and in confession every day, to live in the light of your presence all through the day. Amen.”