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What is your response when you feel overwhelmed?  As you go through life there will be times when you feel despair.  How can you continue on when all seems lost?  The Apostle Paul gives us sage advice,

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

Notice how God is described – He is a God of hope.  Hope is a confident expectation that your situation will turn out for the best.  As you reflect upon the sovereignty of God, you gain His perspective, 

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  (Romans 8:28)

A person who has God’s hope manifests joy and peace.  This is a great promise, it is the antithesis of despair!  Joy is the ability to trust God despite your circumstances.  Peace is not simply the absence of conflict but it an overall sense of well being.  So how do you experience this joy and peace?

You can experience joy and peace as you place your faith  in God. You exercise faith everyday. You flip a light switch and the light turns on.  You read an article on the internet and you believe it that it is true (okay, I’ll admit there are some differences between your faith in God and your faith in everyday circumstances since God is reliable).  Many of us have traveled across the country in an airplane piloted by a young person we’ve never met (the pilots look younger all the time to me).  I forget that the U.S. Navy was entrusting an airplane to me at the age of twenty-one. So if I can believe man, who is at times fallible, then should I not believe an infallible, all-knowing, and wise God?  The Apostle John gives us this principle,

If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for the testimony of God is this, that He has testified concerning His Son. (1 John 5:9)

God is fully reliable and trustworthy and when you place your faith in Him, then you can can experience His joy and peace and abound in hope.  Paul concludes this thought by showing that it’s by the power of the Holy Spirit that we can experience hope. You were not meant to live the Christian life in your own strength, you were designed to live in union with God in the power of the Holy Spirit.

I am learning that there are no hopeless situations, but there are people who have grown hopeless about them.  Martin Luther King said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.”  Are you in need of hope?   Read God’s word and find refreshment for your soul,

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4)

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