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.
—Romans 15:13 (NIV)
Joy and peace. They flood our souls with freedom—our minds with eternal hope. They free us from doubt and fear and consistently build our faith. They come as the sweetest gift from Jesus, our Savior, who opened the door for us to have a new relationship with God. God is no longer our judge. He is our father who encourages us—who lovingly disciplines us—who draws us closer the more we trust in Him.
Jesus’ love was not cheap. What He did on the cross was freely given. It did not cost us a thing, but it cost Him His life. God never withdraws His love. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. But often we, unconsciously and consciously, go through our days and withdraw from Him—having our own way—doing our own thing—forgetting Him. Jesus never forgets us. He sees us through His finished work of love on the cross—unblemished and always forgiven. When He convicts us with His love, joy and peace flee. Our hearts hurt because we are so aware of our failure. Jesus never died to condemn us. He died to save us. He continually draws us into spiritual fellowship with His love.
We overflow with hope when we trust in Jesus. The Holy Spirit flows unhindered—building our faith—reassuring us in our father’s love. “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful,” penned the writer to the Hebrews. Yes, Jesus is faithful. Let us hold to Him without wavering. Jesus cannot deny His forgiveness of our sin. In one moment of the greatest love ever known. He took all our ugliness and gave us His righteousness. We could not earn it, and certainly never deserved it, but without hesitation, He gave us His blameless spirit and opened the arms of His father. When we fail, the spirit within us hurts, and His love convicts us. He draws us with loving kindness—not with condemnation—convincing us of His deep abiding love
Do you overflow with hope in your relationship with Jesus? Are you filled with His joy and peace or do you daily strive to achieve it? You can’t accomplish these. They are gifts of His Spirit. Perhaps you are always trying to earn His approval because you don't feel loved and accepted. You don’t have to win His acceptance. He already approves of you because of Calvary. It is not what you do for Him that makes a difference. It is who you are in Him. When you realize this, you give out of His love for you—not out of a need to win His approval.
Seek to understand your identity in Jesus. When you know who He says you are, you will walk by faith and not by sight. You will know His Spirit encouraging and empowering you instead of the voice of the enemy trying to condemn you. You will overflow with the fruit of the Spirit—not from your own self-effort—but through the Holy Spirit producing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in your life.
Have you looked at Calvary through His eyes? He says blessed are your eyes when you see what He sees. When you see your new life He gave you through His eyes, you understand the overwhelming, reckless love of God that set you free!
© 2019 Lynn Lacher