Friday, April 26, 2024

Paul’s Prayer for Joy, Peace, and Hope

Friday, April 26, 2024 

Paul’s Prayer for Joy, Peace, and Hope – Romans 15:13   Submitted by Kay Crumley

What does it mean to have lost hope? We hope for lots of different things. We may hope for wealth, peace, happiness, or good health. What does it mean to have those earthly hopes? Some similar words of desire, expectation, and longing. If those hopes are fulfilled what is the expected outcome, power, status, or carefree life? But in the Bible hope is the confident expectation of what God has promised and its strength is in His faithfulness. Another way of saying is that our hope is in Him. We can be confident in that hope because of our faith in Him.  

Paul wrote in Romans 15:13 about things we can have through our God of hope. I have included the passage from both the NIV and Amplified versions for you to compare.  

Paul is praying for us to be filled with joy and peace in both versions. Joy isn’t just happiness. He wrote in his letter to the Thessalonians to be joyful always, 1 Thes 5:16. This joy is what comes from our attitude that God is in control of all the details of life so no matter what the circumstances we can be joyful in our trust in Him to be in control. That kind of joy leads to peace. We can be free from worry or anxiety because we are being cared for by our loving Father. Notice that these are provide by our God, these aren’t mind sets that can be achieved in our human strength. Paul concludes the verse by restating that we can only be filled with that hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. This biblical hope can fill us to overflowing by placing our complete confidence in Him and by the power of the Holy Spirit in us. WOW, that’s good stuff. 

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. NIV 

I have learned that reading the same verses in different versions can sometimes expand my understanding of the Word. The Amplified version does just that, it expands the Word with more clarification as to what the author means. Read and compare the two versions. 

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises. AMP 

The meanings are the same, but the Amplified version expands so that you can gain a bigger or deeper understanding of the meaning of the verse. It uses believing rather than trust. That suggests to me that it is not a one-time thing but that we are to be continually or constantly believing in the power of the Holy Spirit living in me. But why should we believe? Through the experience of our faith. As we experience the work of God in our lives to bring good, to answer prayer, or to heal sicknesses, we can trust Him even more that before. Just as exercising our muscles helps them to be stronger, to grow so does exercising our trust, believing in His promises, helps our faith to grow. Go to the gym and lifting weights one time may make our muscles sore but it will not grow them into stronger muscles. Believing, when it is an ongoing behavior, will increase our faith because we see that He is trustworthy. Then we will abound or meet our full potential and overflow with confidence in His promises. Shouldn’t we all like to be fully assured of His faithfulness toward us, His children? We trust Him completely and rely on Him for every need that we have. We grow in that by spending time in His Word and learning about His character and actions. We must get to know Him intimately. 

Paul’s prayer is one that applies to us today. It should be our prayer for ourselves and our loved ones. We can be filled by God through His Holy Spirit with joy and peace because of our consistent trust in Him. 

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