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
I ran across that Scripture this week as I was reading through the allotted verses for the reading plan I’m following this year. I read it once, then I went back and read it again and highlighted it in the Olive Tree Bible Reader app I’m using on my iPad. I went on about my Bible study, but that verse kept creeping back into my brain as I read. I went back and read it again, then wrote it down as a verse I needed to memorize.
As a Christian, there’s nothing in that verse that I don’t already know or believe. But there was a phrase that caught my eye and begged me to pay attention. The Scripture didn’t say “when you first believed” or “that time when you confessed your need for Christ” or anything else that implied that believing and trusting Christ was a one-time thing. The Scripture said “as you believe.”
For me, that means believing isn’t a one-time event. It’s a daily decision. Choosing to trust God isn’t just about conversion; it’s about life. It’s about trusting Him day-by-day, moment-by-moment. You will be filled with joy and peace as you believe, as you trust, as you go about your everyday life and choose to trust that God knows what He is doing and has a plan and purpose you can’t see.
Truth be told, I needed that verse. I needed to be reminded that I don’t have it all together and that hope, joy, and true peace come only from God and only truly when I choose to trust Him. So many things in my life have felt out-of-control and more than a little frightening lately. If I had to pick a word to describe what my life has felt like in these last few months, I’d say heavy. I have friends bearing heavy burdens, and I am burdened for them. My workload is heavy and there are looming deadlines. I know people who are grieving in deeply broken almost hopeless ways, and I have felt helpless. Uncertainty and fear have found their way into my thoughts, and thankfully, my prayers, too.
So those words in a random verse in the middle of my daily reading called out to me, reminding me that the God of all hope wants to fill me with joy and peace as I trust Him, as I believe that He will do what He has said He will do. “I will give you joy and peace,” this Scripture whispers to my heart, ” as you believe in Me, as you trust me with those burdens, with those fears, with the uncertainty, with your friends, with everything you are and everything you have.”
So, I choose to trust, not knowing what the future holds. I choose to believe so that my life will overflow with hope.