Blake Allen, Young Adult and Student Pastor, LHBC
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Years ago an S-4 submarine was rammed by a ship off the coast of Massachusetts. It sank immediately. The entire crew was trapped in a prison house of death. Every effort was made to rescue the crew, but it ultimately failed. Near the end of the ordeal, a deep-sea diver, who was doing everything in his power to find a way for the crew’s release, thought he heard tapping on the steel wall of the sunken sub. He placed his helmet up against the side of the vessel and he realized it was the Morse Code. He attached himself to the side and spelled out in his mind the message being tapped from within. It was repeating the same question. The question was, from within, “Is…there…any…hope?”
At times, we have this same question running through our minds. When our world is turned upside down due to circumstances, we may feel overwhelmed. We may feel like we are not going to make it. We may feel like everything is crashing down. In those moments, we wonder if there is any hope for our circumstance. And joy seems impossible to find. But maybe it’s impossible because we have been running to the wrong source.
God is the source. Success won’t give you everlasting joy. Wealth won’t give you everlasting joy. Relationships won’t give you everlasting joy. Alcohol and drugs won’t give you everlasting joy. Positive thinking won’t give you everlasting joy. Politics won’t give you everlasting joy. Only God can provide hope and joy; He is the source of joy and hope. And no matter what we face in life, no matter how difficult, we can always choose joy because we can choose to turn to God, the source of our joy. But you have to have what’s required….Paul says, “may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing.
Faith is required to access joy. God is the source. We have to run to the source. The only reason we would go to God is if we truly believed He can intervene in our circumstances. We have to believe He is the great I AM, the wonderful counselor, the great redeemer, the one who parted the seas and shut the mouths of lions. When we realize how big our God is and who He is, it provides us the hope we need to choose joy. Do you have the faith of a mustard seed? Trust Him and let the Holy Spirit fill you with all joy.
The Holy Spirit overflows us with joy. God is the source of joy. When we put our faith and trust in Him, we receive the joy of salvation. After confessing and believing Jesus is Lord, we are indwelled with the Holy Spirit who overflows us with joy. By His power, we are filled with hope and joy. But we must continually walk with Him in order to continually experience joy. When we deviate from God’s plan for our lives, we grieve and quench the Holy Spirit. And when the Spirit is quenched, so too, our joy is quenched. Instead, we are to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Joy is right around the corner for you. In fact, if Christ is your savior, joy is in you. For the Holy Spirit provides overflowing joy. Joy may be quenched, you may be experiencing a test of faith, it may seem lost, etc. But if you trust in the source and walk with Him, a flood of joy is coming. Choose to trust in the source; choose joy.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, give us faith to believe that you are working behind the scenes of our trials. You tell us in Romans 8:28 that you are working all things out for the good of those who love you and are called to your purpose. Help us to believe and rest in you, the source of our joy. Amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”