The Sorrow And Turmoil Of Unbelief

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Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

Paul’s desire is for people to be filled with joy and peace. Yet he does not desire for them to have peace or joy apart from believing upon Christ. He prays that you and I would be filled with all joy and peace in believing, so that through belief/trust upon Christ, we might abound in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Unbelief robs us of joy and peace and fills us rather with sorrow and turmoil. There are two reasons for this it seems to me. The first is because without an unwavering trust upon Christ we have no solid hope. We may have fleeting moments of hope, but they amount to nothing more than wishful uncertainty, much like wishing upon a star or hoping in the Easter Bunny. Those hopes might bring good momentary feelings, but since they do not root in truth, they do not last. The second reason is because God himself is the one who fills up our cup. It is much like sitting in a banquet hall with a thousand people all gathered around tables of empty glasses and clean plates. This hall has no electricity or running water. A person may smuggle in a bottle of water to drink, but it will not be enough for all and won’t last very long. Unless God himself runs the water line, provides the power, and serves the water; everyone in the hall will die of thirst. God is the one who fills us with joy and peace, and he does this particularly through believing upon the person and work of Jesus Christ.

So, like Paul, I pray that the God of all hope may fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit, you may abound in hope.

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