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
As the saying goes, we can live several weeks without food. We can go several days without water. We can go several minutes without oxygen. Without hope you can live but a second. It makes sense, then, as the Apostle Paul is ending his letter to the Romans, he ends his letter with something he knows that they can’t live without.
But the strength in Paul’s benediction is the power of trust in God. For every one of us, we are tightly secured and fortressed by the God of hope. Paul hopes to convey to the Romans and to us that God is a God who inspires hope. He imparts hope to His children and can be counted on to fulfill what remains to be accomplished in our lives.
We can be in the midst of chaos and still be full of joy and this is what Paul means when he says “May the hope of God fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him.” God is not intimidated by our human challenges. He can prepare a table in the presence of our enemies and in the midst of our circumstances.
We live every day with favorable expectations. Our tribulations are real, but they cannot crush the plans that God has for us. We cannot feel so defeated or become so exhausted that God’s work will be minimized in our lives. We never have to accept what seems to have gone wrong as God’s will.
Hope is to know that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. When we serve God, we should hope big. We can’t come to a big God and come with small plans. When we partner with God, we can come full to the brim with hope. We have to expand our plans until God can stand us in front of Pharaoh and we can say, “God said let my people go!”
As Christians, we know that no matter how haywire life becomes, we still have hope. Hope in God will never disappoint. Our hope in Jesus gives us permission to walk in the field of the unseen. It is the reason that we live in the present but with the future always at hand. We’re not walking around with blinders on, we’re just walking in the not yet.
We know how big our foe is. We know how hard we fight against him. But our mindset isn’t what is important. What is important is how strong our hope is. If our hope is stable, our weeping today gives way to joy in the morning.