Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of Hope….” and that is what you are, Lord, the God who is the source of hope, who offers hope to all, who calls us to hope. And your hope is not a “maybe,” “perhaps,” or ‘I wish it were so” uncertainty. It is a rock-solid surety—you promise, you carry through, you deliver.
You desire to fill your children “with all joy and peace….” This says so much about you, my Lord God. You desire good for us, to give us the joy and peace that every person longs for. We desire a joy that is unquenchable, undefeatable by the difficulties, tragedies and suffering of life; and we can have it because you, the unchanging God, are its source. You don’t do things half way: you don’t offer just some joy but ALL joy.
You give us a purchased peace: sure and sound, deep and dynamic, restful and responsible. We can have peace with you by eagerly confessing our sin and sins, then receiving your rich, healing forgiveness. We can have peace with ourselves by forgiving ourselves as you have forgiven us. And we can have peace with others by forgiving them as we have been forgiven.
There is, however, a condition in this: you promise this joy and peace, “as [we] trust in him….” Our part is to believe you, to live in the truth of what you are. As we look away from the aggravations, disappointments and difficulties of life to you, it is clear that we can trust you, the Great Shepherd.
In trust we can respond with praise, no matter how painful the 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 instead of you. Help us to ever grow in our trust as we see you in the Word, in your work, in the world.
Trusting then brings more grace from you for us to live in and to pass on to others: “trust…so that your lives may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Here is your plan: the more we know you, the more we can trust you; the more we trust you, the more joy and peace you give us, and the more hope we can have.
This hope is the certainty of your goodness, power, wisdom and love surrounding us, guiding us, protecting us, filtering all that comes to us, carrying us through to the end and then will come our translation into your presence.
When we trust in you, we become the source of hope, the spring of hope, the stream of hope, the river of hope to everyone we meet, for it will flow out in our attitude, in our words, in our actions, in our reactions.
Those around us are thirsty for hope, and we can bring it to them by trusting in you.
Help us to be daily in the Word and in personal worship, living in the light of your presence all through the day. May we trust in you so that all peace and joy and hope may overflow from our lives onto those around us, giving you growing glory. Amen.”
–From the devotional book EDIFIED!