Romans 15:13 - Immediate Joy, Peace, & Hope
You don't need to wait until heaven to experience authentic joy & peace, you can have that right now.
Read / Listen
Read Romans 15:13
May the God
fill you with
all joy and peace
as you trust in him,
you may overflow
by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 58
Q. How does the article
concerning “life everlasting”
A. Even as I already now
experience in my heart
the beginning of eternal joy,
so after this life I will have
perfect blessedness such as
no eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no human heart has ever imagined:
a blessedness in which to praise God eternally.
We don't often focus on just one verse at a time, but today's passage packs the punch of an entire chapter into one sentence. This verse is often used as a benediction, which is a blessing given to God's people upon the completion of their gathered worship.
This benediction is actually a prayer, and like so many prayers in the Bible, it is short and it follows the Triple-A prayer pattern:
1) It begins by Acknowledging who God is:
The God of hope: Keep in mind here that the Bible uses the word 'hope' differently than what we're used to using it. We say that we hope the Twins do well or that we hope the weather will be nice next week, but in saying those things we understand that there's a big chance that what we hope for won't actually transpire. Biblical hope is much more than just a wish, it's a certainty that God will fulfill all that He has promised.
2) It Asks God for what we need:
Granted, we often make this our third 'A', not our second, but it doesn't always need to be that way. This prayer asks that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, you will be filled with so much joy and peace, that it causes you to overflow with hope. Can you think of anything better to ask God for?
3) It Aligns you with God's will:
You will be filled with this joy and peace only as you trust in Him - the God of hope. This ought to be obvious, that the more we trust the world to fill us, the less joy, peace and hope we'll actually have. Trusting in the God of hope is the heart of what it means to live in a way that's aligned with God's will.
It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you will not fully experience true joy and peace until the moment God calls you home, and you instantly step into the paradise that Jesus promised to the thief on the cross. While it's certainly true that you'll never be fully freed from the effects of sin until that day, be reminded that you can experience authentic joy and peace here and now.
The way to do this, as this benediction demonstrates, is to put all of your trust into the God of hope, and the way that you trust in God is to do even more of what you're doing right now: immersing yourself in God's Word. As we've seen before, this is a very logical concept:
God fills you with joy and peace so that you overflow with hope as you trust in Him;
Your trust in Him increases by filling yourself with His Word;
Therefore, the more you fill yourself with God's Word the more joy, peace and hope you will have.
So take advantage of every opportunity you have: continue reading the Bible each week day, as you look forward to meeting with God's people every morning and evening on the Lord's Day.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The God of hope;
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask that God will increase your trust in Him as you fill yourself with His Word;
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: Ask that you will experience true joy and peace that results in overflowing hope as you trust in Him
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Romans 12