In Romans 15, the Apostle Paul explained how Christians can experience the complete joy that comes from God. It happens when all of the Christian qualities within us work together.
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
That verse is loaded! Sometimes, when reading the Bible, I tend to read straight through verses without getting their full impact. Maybe you do the same thing.
We miss things the Lord wants us to know when we do that. So, let’s pause and take a close look as we do a short study of the message within this verse.
First of all, where do we find our source of hope? In God! When things seem hopeless, don’t we usually seek out all our options? Instead, go straight to the source, our only source of hope, God.
Then, the apostle says that we must trust our source of hope. When we do, He will fill us with complete joy and peace. What does it mean when it says he’ll completely fill us with joy?
Our joy doesn’t come from the circumstances happening around us. They will cause either happiness or sadness. Joy comes complete from the Lord and wells up from within us.
Your surroundings will not only try to dampen your joy, but they will also try to steal your peace. God, however, gives us a peace that we can’t explain.
So, when we trust the Lord, our source of hope, we will overflow with confident hope. And He helps us accomplish it all through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Complete Trust in God Produces Joy
We need hope, joy, peace, and complete trust in God because we live in a sinful world. A world that comes at us from every direction and tries to pull us away from the Lord.
The Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled. Romans 15:4
In that verse, Paul used a word many people, even Christians, don’t like. It’s that “p” word, patience. We need it to get along with worldly people and also get along with each other too.
May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Romans 15:5
Jesus said if we love each other, everyone will know that we belong to Him. But even more than that, living in harmony with each other allows us to praise God as one voice.
Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:6
On the Day of Pentecost, as recorded in Acts 2, 120 people gathered “in one accord.” They praised God with one voice, and the Holy Spirit fell on them, filling them with power.
The Apostle Paul wasn’t at that meeting, but he encouraged his readers to accept each other. And to do it the same way Christ accepted each of them so that God would receive glory.
Christianity began among the Jews but quickly spread to include other cultures. For that reason, Paul emphasized the need for everyone to bond together.
Psalms Reported, Gentiles Praise the Lord
He backed it up with some Psalms by saying that is what the psalmist meant when he wrote:
- “For this, I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing praises to your name.”
- And in another place it is written, “Rejoice with his people, you Gentiles.”
- Yet again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles. Praise him, all you people of the earth.” Romans 15:9-11
Very seldom in today’s world do we hear non-Jews referred to as Gentiles. We do, however, recognize different cultures. But we shouldn’t discriminate because of someone’s upbringing.
And in another place Isaiah said, “The heir to David’s throne will come, and he will rule over the Gentiles. They will place their hope on him.” Romans 15:12
That said, we come back to the fact that we all can live in complete joy and peace. As the apostle prepared to write his final chapter to the Romans, he encouraged them with this.
I am fully convinced, my dear brothers and sisters, that you are full of goodness. You know these things so well you can teach each other all about them. Romans 15:14
I, too, agree with Paul, the same thing about you. You probably also know these things so well that you could teach them to each other. But how well do we practice them?
In our churches today, do we have unity or unities? I’m not talking about small groups of people who have something in common with each other. Like a seniors group or a young moms group.
No, I am talking about it in the worship setting. When all groups meet together, can they come in one accord? Or do some set themselves up as “holier than thou,” which intimidates others?
What Hinders Complete Joy?
Does everyone have the freedom to socialize with anyone in the church? Or do barriers exist? I’m not necessarily talking about hanging out together. Let me make this a little more personal.
Answer this question for yourself: does everyone in your church feel free to converse with you? With a conversation that goes beyond a walking by, “Hi, how are you?”
Please don’t take an attitude of “that’s their problem.” How about instead, you approach them and knock down any barrier that you may not have known existed?
You may accomplish two things when you make a simple gesture like that. You will recognize the complete joy given by God. And your action may release in that person His joy and peace.
Towards the end of the Book of Romans, Paul encouraged the church with the following words. I want to encourage you with them, too.
But everyone knows that you are obedient to the Lord. This makes me very happy. I want you to be wise in doing right and to stay innocent of any wrong. Romans 16:19
Lord, help us to experience your complete joy and peace. In the process, open doors so we can extend your complete joy to others.
Check out these related posts on Joy.
- What Is the Cause Of Our Great Joy?
- Angels Announced Good News Of Great Joy To The World
- That Your Joy May Be Full In The Lord
- The Prodigal Son And His Brother
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