So, my connect group this week are sharing daily devotionals with each other, and they’ve been really inspiring. I though I would share mine with you all…
The Joy of Hope!
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
I have been reading the Psalms lots recently as I have been doing my ‘Bible in a Year’ and I just love the sense of sheer joy and hope in David’s life, despite his often testing and tragic circumstances!
I began this year at Church looking at the woman in Proverbs 31 v 25 who “Laughs without fear of the future” and I so want to be like that! Not because I know things will be easy or without problems (because life isn’t like that), but because I have the joy of God in my heart that overwhelms, and gives me hope in all circumstances.
“But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy” Psalm 5: 11.
“I will be filled with joy because of You. I will sing praises to your name O Most High” Psalm 9:2
In some situations it can be so hard to grasp hold of God’s joy. When I am suffering, lonely, worried, or stressed the last thing I can think about is being happy. But joy, true joy isn’t about being ‘happy’ or even content. It’s about having that feeling and knowledge deep in your heart of God’s love, hope and mercy. It’s why David could sing that God is his joy, alongside his cries of despair. It’s why Christians can say ‘The Joy of the Lord is my strength’ (Nehemiah 8:10) in the darkest times. It’s why I can say I am full of God’s joy even when I am grieving or struggling with something really difficult in my life.
Joy in the truest meaning of the word, is why this verse can make sense to us;
Hebrews 12:12 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
God’s joy is an amazing gift because of reminds us of the hope we have in Jesus!!
Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
God knows the hopes of the hopeless. He hears our cries, and He wants to pour out his Hope and Joy upon us so that we can live fully for Him, reflecting his joy and glory.
What can you be truly joyful for today?
What things are you hoping or praying for that you need God’s peace about, to be joyful in?
How can you spread some of God’s joy into someone else’s life today?