“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13, NKJV).
Hope is having a positive mindset. It is envisioning what God has promised you in His Word. Hope engages your senses and captures your thoughts to believe God’s promise (2 Corinthians 10:5). Hope brings to life in your mind a picture of the vision God has given you.
God is the God of vision. Without God’s vision, we perish (Proverbs 29:18). The Holy Spirit wants to fill you with all joy, peace, and faith in believing His promise. Exercising your faith produces a vision—a mental picture—of His promise. This verse says that it takes the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish this. You cannot do this on your own human effort (John 6:63). Those who have little hope limit the Holy Spirit’s ability to renew them in the spirit of their mind with the truth of God’s promises.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life”
Since this proverb is true, we need to be sure our hopes are from God and are realistic. If they aren’t, we are setting ourselves up to have a “sick heart.” We are setting ourselves up for disappointment and questioning if God loves us. We need to be sure the hopes we have are godly. When godly hopes are realized, they become a tree of life. We need hope and the life it brings when we realize those hopes. But we need to guard against the sickness that comes to our hearts by false hopes that are never realized.
Romans 15:13 speaks specifically of acting out of your faith. Faith is a noun. Believe is a verb. Believing is faith in action. When you envision and believe in the godly hope that is yours in Christ, your faith is alive. Your faith is operating in the way God designed it. Remember James clearly said that faith without works is dead (James 2:20). For your faith to be put into practice, joy and peace are present in your life. A person without joy and peace can have faith, but if they don’t believe, their faith lies dormant.
Faith is the substance of the things hoped for (Hebrews 11:1). Romans 15:13 says you are to abound in hope. Hope is a distinct trait of those who believe in God. If you believe what God promises you in His Word, hope, joy, and peace have precedence in your life. Doubt may come against you, but the Holy Spirit has given you the power to hope and envision God’s promise. You are not like people without God who are vain in what they imagine and envision (Romans 1:21). You have hope to imagine and envision the promise God has shown in His Word. Your hope abounds when you exercise your faith to believe your promise. When you believe what God says in His Word, you are filled with His joy and peace.
Faith is your evidence of God’s promise (Hebrews 11:1). You can trust the faith Christ has given you. You can live by it (Galatians 2:20, KJV).
What has God promised you? What do you hope for? If it is for your health, God promises you will prosper in health just as your soul prospers and is renewed by the Word (3 John 2, Romans 12:2). When your mind is continually renewed by the Word, your mind dwells on God’s promise of health. You have hope. And when you plant His Word by faith in your heart, you believe. When you believe in God’s promise of health, you have joy and peace concerning your future. Your old life has been crucified with Christ, and putting on your new life, you believe.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20, KJV).
Have hope. Exercise the measure of faith you received from God (Romans 12:3). Envision the promise God has given you. His Word is Spirit, and it is Life (John 6:63). Live by the faith Christ has given you. The promises of God are yes and amen (2 Corinthians 1:20).
© 2023 Lynn Lacher