Light for March
“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.” ~Roman 15:13
I love when the Lord lines things up to speak to you at just the right time. I chose my Year of Light verses at the end of 2019 and yet here I am several months later being spoken to by the Lord at just the time I need it. See, if I’m honest, I’ve been struggling with waiting on the Lord’s timing for the last few weeks. In fact, I feel quite restless and the enemy has definitely tried to convince me that the amazing moments of truth and direction I have received over the last few years have been a lie or that I misunderstood them simply because I’ve grown impatient...again!
So, as I’ve been chatting with the Lord, I’ve been discussing these concerns and emotions and asking for reassurance and direction. He has given so many little “aha” moments in the last week to shut the enemy up but as I sat down to look up March’s verse I had to laugh at the perfection and forethought of the Lord. Let’s look at the beauty of this verse…
“May the God of hope…”
Right from the beginning we are reminded that God provides hope to His children which is quite a statement coming from the Apostle Paul. Paul was speaking the truth he had lived throughout his ministry including many situations that would make one feel hopeless but Paul knew God gave hope in the midst of hopeless situations.
“fill you with all joy and peace…”
Oh, joy, one of the more difficult Fruit of the Spirit to define. I think of joy as contented happiness that isn’t based on emotions. Happiness fluctuates based on circumstances but joy is steadfast in the midst of trying times, the unknown and disappointments because joy comes from the Spirit, Himself, not from how you “feel”. Peace is another Fruit of the Spirit and goes hand in hand with joy. Peace from the Spirit is another heart posture that isn’t reliant on emotions or circumstances. These two spiritual characteristics come directly from God and build that hope spoken of above.
“as you trust in him…”
Faith and trust are a never ending cycle with hope, peace and joy. When you are faithful you see the Lord provide which boosts your hope which boosts your joy and peace which makes you step out further in faith which continues the cycle. I don’t think you can have any of these separately. If you trust the Lord, you can’t help but have hope for the future because you know who holds it and that hope gives you true joy and peace. In the same line of thought, you can’t have true, unwavering hope, peace and joy in this world apart from Christ.
“so that you may overflow with hope…”
This goes back to my belief that hope is part of the faith cycle. Think of faith like a child jumping off the edge of a pool into their father’s arms. Maybe the first time the child jumps the distance is quite short and they have floaties on their arms. They may bounce and bob and try several times before actually jumping with a good bit of encouragement from their daddy. It’s not that they don’t trust their father, they are just scared and unsure. However, after a few jumps they are quickly jumping at every opportunity. Then their daddy backs up a few feet or moves to a deeper depth and they might hesitate again but probably not as much as the first time because they trust that their father will catch them even though they’re in a “scarier situation” because they have a track record of success. Faithful moments with the Lord help to remind you of His faithfulness in the future. This is the same reason the Israelites were told to set up memorial stones as a way to remember moments of God’s provision and faithfulness so they would trust and obey in the future.
“by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Unless, you are willing to let the Lord work in you through the Holy Spirit none of the above is possible for very long. This goes back to the concept of “peace that passes understanding…” from that VBS standard “I Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in My Heart”. But in all seriousness, the hope, peace and joy provided by the Lord does pass understanding because it’s simply not logical and can be quite unbelievable if you haven’t experienced it. So, ask the Lord to expand your faith and make Himself known to you. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you in the good and the bad times. He wants to be known by you and isn’t hiding away but you have to seek Him (Jeremiah 29:13).
I pray that this bit of Romans has reminded you of the power and hope we have as children of God much like it has reminded me. And may I suggest setting up reminders of God’s faithfulness in your life so when those tough times comes you can remind yourself and Satan that God really is so good!