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.
To abound in hope sounds like such an amazing thing to aspire to. The idea of having an abundance of hope and to be hopeful in all things, it sounds pretty great to me. But in reality, I don’t usually think about hope much or wonder whether or not I have it. My mind is filled with so many other things that need to be done in a day’s time. Things that, to me, seem so much more practical in the moment, like getting the laundry done or dinner cooked. It’s true that I fall short of experiencing the hope God has for me because I get caught up in the day to day stuff. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to experience the hope of God or that I don’t want to feel hopeful about the future. So, I thought today would be the perfect time to talk about what it means to abound in hope.
First, we have to ask what exactly is hope?
Hope is an expectation that our current circumstances will get better. The world sees hope as just wishful thinking, a Pollyanna kind of attitude that doesn’t really get you anywhere. But hope in God is different. As Christians, we don’t need to walk around with rose colored glasses on. We have God on our side and we can have complete confidence that He has everything under control. The knowledge that God is in control is real and creates a lasting hope in us.
Next, where does our hope come from?
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
1 Peter 1:3
This is the source of our hope. Because of His great mercy, God sent His Son, Jesus, to be our hope and to die in our place. He is our living hope because He already paid the price for our sin. Without Jesus all hope of a future in heaven would be lost. But because of Jesus and His resurrection, we are able to have hope if we believe in Him.
Finally, how we can take hold of this hope and claim it for ourselves?
Our original verse for today, from Romans 15:13, tells us exactly how to have this hope… “by the power of the Holy Spirit”.
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.
When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we automatically receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38) So, we already have the power of the Holy Spirit within us. But just as following Jesus every day is a choice, so is harnessing the power of the Holy Spirit. We can tap into this power by walking with God daily, reading His Word, praying and asking for guidance and seeking Him in all things. Then we will see the hope that we receive from the Holy Spirit in our lives.
There will always be ups and downs in life. Some days we will feel hopeless and like nothing we do seems to work. Sometimes those days will be few and far between and sometimes they’ll pile up on top of each other. We may feel alone in our hopelessness, but God hasn’t left us all alone. He has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit and His power to guide us. God wants us to not only have hope, but to abound in that hope. If we turn to Jesus, the source of our hope, He will see us through whatever trials we face. No matter what our current circumstances are, through patience and perseverance, God will give us joy and peace in believing, and the ability to abound in hope.