“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost,” Roman 15:13.
Some Christians have no plug in their engine of faith. Whatever is poured in runs out just as fast. They pour in the oil of peace, and while they are pouring, the powerhouse of faith runs sweetly. When they take the pitcher away, squeaks and rattles start up. They fill the tank with joy, and while the pump is working, the machinery of faith takes over. But, they send it down the road a few yards and soon are forced to run after it with a full can of gas.
What makes Christianity tick? What makes it take over and run life when it is successful? Or what causes it to fail? Paul saw the problem only too well. The two epistles to the Corinthians exemplify how the trip of faith can turn into a nightmarish round of spiritual tow trucks and journeys to utilize the Gospel repair kit.
His answers to this problem appear in all his epistles. In Romans they begin in chapter 12, verse 1: “I beseech you . . . present your bodies a living sacrifice . . . which is your reasonable service.” He continues in the next verse, “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
How does this work in practice? The Christian casts off the works of darkness (Romans 13:12). He makes no “provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof” (verse 14).
Paul puts confidence in the Holy Spirit to strengthen and sustain the will of the follower of Jesus. The renewed mind submits to the will of the Spirit. It avoids the places of temptation.
Paul knew that human performance fluctuates. The life that seemed so full of good at one moment can fill with evil the next. The Holy Spirit will make sure the vessel of faith has a plug in it. Through the Spirit, the will retains joy and peace until the life fills and runs over.
To use yet another figure of speech, the greenest places in the desert surround a spring that has bubbled over. God needs your will to make His plan work. Joy, peace, and hope in your life exhibit to the world what Christ seeks to accomplish for it. The God who gives hope creates peace and joy, and they create the hope that overflows in blessing of the world. For the most part we can understand, appreciate, and highly esteem human love. But the depthless love of God extends far beyond all finite comprehension. The world, through our ministry of reconnection in the Southern Union, needs to hear and understand that God loves us despite us. We are admonished to share with people who are feeling unloved that God loves unconditionally.
“There is nothing that the world needs so much as the manifestation through humanity of the Savior’s love,” The Acts of the Apostles, p. 600.
Southern Union | October 2022