May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.Romans 15:13 ESV
In this short prayer, Paul appeals to the source of our hope, the author and giver of hope, and he asks specifically that we would be filled with all joy and peace in believing.
The Kingdom of God
What does that mean – “fill you with all joy and peace in believing?“ Paul had already explained in the previous chapter of Romans that the kingdom of God is not just about keeping a set of holy days but about righteousness, peace, and joy in the Spirit of God.
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit … So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.Romans 14:17, 19 ESV
When God delivers us from the realm of darkness, He places us in His kingdom of light and clothes us with joy. The godly are happy; they rejoice before God and are overcome with joy (Psalm 68:3).
Then you turned my lament into dancing;Psalm 30:11-12 NET
you removed my sackcloth and covered me with joy.
So now my heart will sing to you and not be silent;
O Lord my God, I will always give thanks to you.
Justification secures our peace with God through the death of Jesus. Christ IS our peace, reconciling us to the Father through the cross. He is our peace, he made peace with God, and He preached peace to establish His kingdom. His is a kingdom of peace.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.Romans 5:1 ESV
To hope in Christ is to believe in Christ. Our faith is the foundation, the root, from which the fruit of joy and peace is produced. God is unchangeable; His purposes and promises are sure. He promised Abraham to bless the world through him, and when He made this promise, He swore an oath on HImself – for there is no one greater than Himself. God does not lie; we can count on His promises. Our faith is not a risky venture. God has proven Himself over and over. We have Jesus’ testimony in the gospels that He came to fulfill the law and the prophets. His fulfillment of prophecy is one of our assurances in our faith. The other great assurance is the down payment of the Holy Spirit who lives within us.
The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.Hebrews 11:1-2 MSG
What it means
We must keep on believing for our joy, peace, and even our hope to increase. A favorite verse about confidence is found in Isaiah 32:17 – “The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.” Confidence is to be persuaded, an inward certainty of truths that can’t be seen or touched. One fruit of our salvation is unshaken confidence which can also be translated as FAITH! Faith is ours because it is our gift from God!
To read the other entries in this series:
May the God of Hope
The So That Connection