“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound
in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
Wait a second, St. Paul! If you are writing the Word of God, do you mean that anyone reading what
you wrote to Roman Christians can “BE FILLED WITH ALL JOY AND PEACE by believing the Gospel? That seems a stretch at first glance. Want to take a second glance? Longing for joy and peace?
In this material world we can find joy in many ways. Like falling in love with a wonderful person. Like graduating from college. Or, by winning a tough competition. Paul is talking about the kind of joy that endures throughout our earthly life, not from a source that fades in importance over the years.
Is there anybody that does not want joy and peace? Seven billion earthlings would probably say ‘NO’. We all want those positive emotions. Even if we don’t care whether others have them or not. But, if we tell the 7B people that they can have it by believing the Gospel, will the 7B start believing?
Here’s the problem: Since the Fall in the Garden of Eden, we are degenerated creatures. The Fall began by two people NOT believing God’s Word. Everyone born to Adam and Eve was born outside the Garden paradise. Fellow humans lied to get their way; even began to make a living by lying. Now, we may not know who or what to BELIEVE. Romans 15:13 goes in one ear and out the other. Joy and Peace don’t get a foothold.
The point of believing is to “ABOUND IN HOPE” by the power of the Holy Spirit. Joy and peace are a
consequence of believing. Hope is a consequence of joy and peace. We are not going to find joy, peace or hope – that last – in this life outside of believing the Gospel. If you are not filled with joy, peace and hope, do you really believe in our Lord Jesus Christ. Billions turned away
from that and try to find it in material security and relationships. But, none of us will find it until AFTER we believe in Him. Wishing you All joy, peace and hope throughout 2021 and beyond!