“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him SO THAT YOU MAY OVERFLOW with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” -Romans 15:13
Some days I do not like narrowing down my focus to only one thing God speaks to me about in my daily readings (though it is necessary). This is one of those days…
It should be no surprise that the God of hope seeks to instill hope in those who believe in Him. It should come at no surprise that God infuses hope into my spirit through the work of the Holy Spirit. He, after all, lives in me and all who choose to believe in Christ for salvation. Furthermore, it is logical to me that God’s method of giving me hope is to fill me with joy and peace. How else can one have hope that transcends any and all circumstances without joy or peace?
The astounding concept to me is “overflow(ing).” As God fills me with joy and peace overflow happens. We lived on a river for a number of years. It would flood, i.e. overflow, a couple of times a year. It would overflow its banks. I get overflow. It is something beyond containment. It affects so many other things. As a follower of Jesus my life is to overflow. And overflow will affect others. It will be visible to others. A life filled with joy and peace, and overflowing with hope changes everything around him/her. A life overflowing with hope handles adversity differently. A life overflowing worships differently.
So, what is the problem? Why is it my/our life isn’t recognized as overflowing? Why is all my worship staying within the banks of the river? God’s plan is to fill us with joy. We need not beg for it. God’s plan is to fill us with His peace. We have peace with God (Romans 5:1). His purpose is to make our lives overflowing. What gives? Me! Scripture tells us we have “been given everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him” (1 Peter 1:3). I give. I give in to my own thoughts and recriminations. I give in to thinking that living a life of overflow is rare, or for someone else, or I don’t deserve it, or… A life of overflowing hope rests on our hope of who God is and the keeping of His Word. A life of overflowing hope demands I/we take a step of faith in claiming the joy and peace already given us in Christ. A life overflowing calls me to control my thoughts and not yield to settling for less. It means I live a life overflowing by choice (whether I feel it or not), by faith, by joy, by peace, by hope. The world around me/you is desperate for our overflow because in it is Jesus.
Papa, forgive me for building a dam that has kept Your presence in me contained. Let Your rivers of joy and peace combine afresh to make my life overflow afresh with Your hope.
Readings for Day 73 – Psalm 121, Matthew 18:21-35, Acts 2:1-37, John 17:9-18, 1 Samuel 22-24