I was reading a scripture this week, and as often happens, something jumped out at me, despite the fact I’ve read this many times before.
The verse is in Romans 15:13 and it says
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
What really spoke to me this week was that joy and peace are directlylinked to believing.
The dictionary definition of ‘believe’ is “to hold something as an opinion; think”
Our peace and joy are totally depended on what we think/believe!
In Proverbs 23:7, we are told that as a man thinks in his heart so is he! If you are discouraged or fearful, it will always stem from what you think or believe. Now you may say that’s not true, but it is!
You may not be thinking “I wanna be sick” but you haven’t been thinking “I am the healed of the Lord”… I guarantee that if you consider what you have you been thinking on you will see a correlation between that and whether there is peace and joy in your life or not.
Peace and joy are elements of the fruit of the Spirit. Romans 8:6 says For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Strong’s concordance defines LIFE as ‘the state of one who is possessed of vitality or is animate; life of the absolute fulness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God, a, a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, in the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christer.’ That sounds like a good kind of life.
Scripture is given to us to show and teach us, and there are so many examples of people in the word who were in dire circumstances and yet they experienced peace and joy!!
In Acts 12. We find Peter in prison. He sleeping between two guards. You’d think, given his circumstances he’d be at best, fitfully dozing and waking, worried about what the next day will bring, right? WRONG… Peter is so sound asleep that when the Angel shows up to take him out of there he has to ‘smite him on the side’ to wake him up! He was totally experiencing peace!
When we know what we believe, and our beliefs line up with the Word, no matter what the circumstances are around us, we can experience God’s kind of peace and God’s kind of joy. Even Jesus was able to endure the cross because of the joy set before him.
As we go into a season that celebrates the coming of Jesus, it’s important that we remember the significance of that event. Jesus came so that we do CAN have the potential to experience peace and joy in this life despite living in a fallen world. Because of what Jesus’ birth, life and death accomplished, we can experience a peace that goes beyond our human understanding, and a joy that is unspeakable and full of glory. These are not abstract ideas, but real and possible parts of our life in Christ.
As we enter this season, I encourage you to consider whether you are experiencing hope, peace and joy in your life. If not, take time to think about what you are believing, measure that against the word, and if necessary change your mind (repent) and find that joy and peace in believing that will bring hope!