I recently went through a season of my life when I cannot read enough about hope. I couldn’t hear enough sermons on hope…what hope in God looks like, how it operates in my life and how I can experience it. When faced with circumstances that seem hopeless, it is a good time to dig your heels into the hope that God offers to the best of your ability and then allow the Holy Spirit to dig you even deeper. One afternoon, I found myself reading every scripture I could find on the subject of hope and Romans 15:13 jumped out at me:
May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing (through the experience of your faith) that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope. (Romans 15:13 AMPC)
I love it. This verse points out so many life-giving truths that we can apply to whatever situations we are currently facing. First, this verse makes it clear that the God we serve is a God of hope. And let me remind you (and remind myself as well), He lives in us! We always talk about how God is ultimately in control. Who better to be in control than the God of hope? If God lives in us and He is in control, then it stands to reason that we always have a reason to hope.
Secondly, this verse tells us that He fills us with joy and peace, in believing. Whoa. That is powerful. Think about it. Our joy and peace doesn’t come from a change in our situation. It doesn’t come from perfect circumstances. Nope. It comes from believing. What are you believing? Do you believe things won’t go well for you? Do you believe things will get worse? If you are not experiencing joy and peace, then it sounds like you need to change your belief system. Sometimes we need to wait for God to work things out in our lives, but we might as well be happy while we wait. That sense of peace and joy is directly tied to what we choose to believe.
Lastly, this verse indicates that once we get to the place of belief, faith, confident trust and expectation in Him that we will abound and overflow with hope. According to the above translation, we will be bubbling over with hope. I want this kind of hope. Too often, I feel so overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by life. Overwhelmed by feelings. Overwhelmed by family. Overwhelmed by relationships. Overwhelmed by work. Overwhelmed by ministry. Overwhelmed by what I do. Overwhelmed by what I don’t do. The list can go on and on. But what if you and I went from feeling overwhelmed to being overflowing with hope? How would that change our lives? I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to find out.
It’s time to overflow.