"Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abundantly overflow in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13
How many times to people talk to you about their problems? Whether it be someone standing in the grocery line, a friend, another parent at school, or a relative. If I really think about so many of the conversations I have from day to day, it amazes me how much of that time is focused on someone's problems. I overhear conversations all the time when I'm out. Especially living in a small town. I'll be at the grocery store, and two people will strike up a conversation. Inevitably, it always starts with "How are you?" The caveat is that most people don't really mean that when they ask it. They are really just being polite. But about half the time, the person who is asks "How are you." Launches into some kind of dialogue about all the wrongs in their life. Or perhaps the person who originally asked "how are you" is really just looking for a "fine, how are you?" so they can unload.
Now imagine you being one of the ones who was involved in that conversation. And imagine, when they tell you how they are really doing, you shared that verse in Romans with them, "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abundantly overflow in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 15:13) What do you suppose they'd do? I really don't have the answer to that, but it is something to think about. As Christians, even we get caught up in the problems of every day life. The difference we have is that we always have hope. We always have a champion looking out for us, and someone who is looking out for our best interests. We can give our problems to God, and the beauty of giving him our problems, and asking for his assistance is the comfort and peace we receive in return.
In the next few weeks, we will potentially be facing Andy being laid off for a while. It's a reality in the construction field, and so far, we've been extremely blessed with God's provision for us. A few months ago, I made the decision to give our finances to God. I completely gave the issue of Andy being laid off to God, and prayed fervently, that he would take care of it. And not only has God continued to provide work, he's also taken the financial stress away from me. I am completely at peace with the fact that at any time, Andy could walk in the door and announce that he is laid off until February. Now that is a real gift from God. I am overflowing with joy and peace (especially this Christmas season) and I know that it is the Holy Spirit dwelling in me that is filling me with this wonderful hope.
I can pray today for continued peace with Andy's job, but I can also pray for the ability to share God's hope with other people as they share their problems with me. "For whatever things were written in times past were written for our learning that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope." Romans 15:4