“…let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Growth involves motives. Knowing our motives is a significant and integral aspect of our walk with God, for then we can reject the negative and neutral motives, while affirming the positive ones. And one of our positive motives should be wanting to trust and please God.
This past week Romans 15:13 was my general prayer for all. It says,
“May the God of hope
fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in him
so that your life may overflow with hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
This verse emphasizes that our responsibility is to trust this God of goodness, wisdom, power, mercy and justice. He will then give us the joy and peace He has prepared for us, plus cause an overflowing abundance of hope in our lives.
Such hope, of course, is not just airy, wishful thinking, but a certainty of what was accomplished at the cross and of what God will bring to pass—protection, provision, power, patience and His presence, to name a few. These promises are guaranteed with the Holy Spirit’s indwelling in our lives.
While meditating on hope, other passages came up in my reading that show further how important it is. Colossians 1:5 speaks of the “faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven….”
I’d never noticed so clearly that faith and love flow from our hope. Our faith is based on the certainty of God’s character and on what God has in store for us; then as we focus on our certain hope rather than on earthly things, His love flows from God through us to others.
In a further insight, 1 Thessalonians 1:3 shows how this trinity of faith, hope and love should be foundational motives in all we do, especially in our service of obedience to God’s leading. It says, “We continually remember…your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” All we do should flow out of these three.
I’m sorry to say that faith, hope and love are many times not the motives I have; mine are more often the desire to feel good, the desire for significance, the desire for the approval and adulation of others. These verses, however, have clarified things as never before and have given a standard to measure my motives.
Contrary to the world’s message, the bottom line is not our performance; instead the bottom line is our hope in God, our solid trust in His powerfully faithful, gracious character—all else will flow from that.
Prayer: “Lord, help me to pray this verse regularly for myself and for others. Help me to live it out, trusting you by obeying what I know to be true out of the motives of faith, hope and love. Help me to do this so that hope will overflow from my life to all those around me, bringing you more glory and them more grace. Amen.”