Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
This is one of my life verses. I use it in my prayers for others a lot, especially with my children. It is so full of the reality of the person of the Holy Spirit. It demonstrates the mission and ministry of the Holy Spirit. He came to give us hope, joy, peace, and power—just like what we see in Jesus.
This verse also shows me the relationship between the Father and the Spirit. The Father is love and the Spirit is hope. Where there is no hope, love is lacking. There can be no peace with the Father where the Spirit does not abide. Conversely, where the Father has sent His love, the Spirit encapsulates it with hope. We grow in these spiritual character traits of hope, joy, peace, and power the more we allow the Spirit to work in us. They are the evidence of connection’the fruit that will be produced when we are firmly planted in the soil of the Father’s love.
Two years ago, I embraced this verse. I loved it so much that I had a bracelet inscribed with it. I wore that bracelet every day. It was my tangible reminder of the promise I felt God had spoken directly to me. However, I wore that treasure only a few short months before the Lord moved me to give it to my friend Audrey. On a Monday morning I felt the Lord saying she needed the reminder of this promise more than I did. He’d used the bracelet to write it on my heart and in my mind over a few months. Now, someone else needed to learn it. I didn’t like this idea of God’s. No, I did not like it at all.
Minutes after this unwanted message arrived in my heart, I went to a weekly prayer group Audrey and I attend together. The impulse to give her the bracelet was strong and growing. It was like Edgar Allen Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart. My flesh and my spirit were fighting a heavy battle, but I knew what I had to do. I explained to our group leader what was going on inside of me, and she went to get me a card to put it in. She handed me a box of cards, and the card on top of the stack had this verse—Romans 15:13—on the front! My jaw hit the floor. The direction the Lord was giving me couldn’t have been more obvious. I hastily wrote Audrey a note, put my bracelet in it, and handed it over before I changed my mind.
I did mourn the loss of my bracelet, but I knew I loved my friend more. Over the next few months, that symbol of love sustained Audrey’s faith during a very dark and desperate season. At the time, I didn’t know the extent of her need, but the Holy Spirit did. He knew she needed that tangible reminder of His promise and that someone loved her. He knew she was hurting and doubting His love. Now knowing more fully what He did for her in that time, I would give her a thousand bracelets if I had to do it over again.
It was the Holy Spirit who carried her through. She is in a much better place now; her hope is full to overflowing and passing it along. Last year, Audrey passed the bracelet to another woman who needed that special tangible reminder of the love of the Father that overflows with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Come, Holy Spirit. Open my eyes to see the tangible reminders of Your all-powerful love in my life. Show me someone I can give that hope to today, through Your power. I welcome the opportunity. In Jesus’ name, amen.
What kind of reminder of the Father’s love is the Holy Spirit revealing to you right now?
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