May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in believing,

so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Romans 15:13 (ESV)

Paul writes these words to the believers in Rome. He encourages all who read them. Let’s look at what he tells them and us.

He characterizes our heavenly Father as a God of hope. Without hope, we would not be able to progress in our Christian walk. We would be stuck at the point of realizing we are sinners.Paul then expresses his desire that those reading this letter be filled with joy and peace through believing in God. What would our lives be like if we didn’t have joy and hope in the LORD?

The Holy Spirit sustains us. He guides us through our lives as we walk with Jesus. Through God’s Holy Spirit we can abound in love and in hope.I love that word abound. It means to be in great plenty; to be very prevalent; to be plentiful. When God gives us hope, He does not skimp or give us a sample. He fills our hearts to overflowing.

I went to see a friend of mine sing gospel songs at a retirement community recently. I saw grace being given by her and by the facility’s activity director. It was refreshing to see a person being included who was a last minute ‘surprise’ to the evening. God blessed the entire event. When it was over, everyone who attended seemed to say, “We needed this.” Across the bottom of our church’s worship folder appears the following statement: “This service is committed to the leading of the Holy Spirit.” I thought of the Holy Spirit’s presence while we were singing along.