“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
It can be difficult for me to comprehend a hope, a joy, and a peace that isn’t solely rooted in circumstances. When things are good, it is obviously much easier for me to feel hopeful, joyful, and full of peace. And then, of course, the opposite is also true, when circumstances aren’t as awesome as I would like, I often find myself struggling to have any joy, hope, or peace at all. It is easy to grow frustrated and even apathetic when life doesn’t go well or meet expectations. It really is like Scripture says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12a, NLT). So, how do I trust in God when my heart feels sick and hope feels long gone? As I continue on my journey with Jesus, I have discovered that this question is one that I constantly wrestle with. But, as I was mentally rehearsing how I wanted to write on this topic of hope, I realized that the answer was staring me in the face the whole time. As I look at trying to be hopeful in the midst of difficulty, I realize that the tail end of the verse in Romans chapter is absolutely paramount. Hope abounds “in the power of the Holy Spirit”.
I am learning that hope can’t be placed in fickle things. Circumstances change and unmet expectations are inevitable, so our hope can’t be placed in them. Instead, it is vital to place it in what is more steady, firm, and unchanging. When the Spirit is the source of our hope, that hope and the peace and joy that comes with it can remain even when circumstances aren’t the best. It all has to be rooted in God’s consistency and faithfulness, which is admittedly easier said than done.
When hope feels long gone, may our source of hope, joy, and peace be sourced in the God of hope. When circumstances change, difficulties arise, and expectations go unmet, my prayer is that our hope abounds through the power of the Holy Spirit.