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)*
This is my favorite verse and has become somewhat of a theme verse for my life over this past year or so. God brought it to me during the most difficult time of my marriage, just as it was falling apart. I have recited it to myself more times than I can count, and shared it with many others. I remember having lunch with a close friend, filling her in on some of what had been going on in my life. As I told her about the hurt and hardships, unsure about the fate of my marriage, I also had to tell her about the amazing things God had been doing to remind me that I was in His care. When I shared the verse with her, she told me that while listening to me tell my story, she couldn’t find any better description—that I was overflowing with hope.
Overflowing with hope doesn’t necessarily mean you have all the answers. In fact, I would argue that having hope by definition requires that you don’t have all the answers—you can’t hope for something that you already have or already know to be true. When I first memorized this verse, the hope that I felt came from the peace that God had filled me with and the joy that He was opening my heart up to. Even though I had much sadness and felt the deep emotional pain that came in wave upon wave of a breaking marriage, I knew that I would make it through. I knew that whether my marriage was saved or not, I would be okay. And there is great peace in that. At the same time I was also being filled with joy. I know that seems like an oxymoron to say I was going through sadness and pain and was also filled with joy, but it is true. Sometimes it takes a heavenly perspective to open your eyes to all the joy surrounding you—in friends and family, and in experiencing the world around you.
I pray this verse over all of you who are suffering through pain, that the amazing God of hope would fill you with all joy and peace, as you put your trust in Him. I pray that you would experience the incredible overflowing of hope throughout every aspect of your being, by the power of the Holy Spirit working in you. Amen!
*I also love the New Living Translation…I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (NLT)