Romans 15:13 (NIV): 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.
There are many people today that are overcome with worry and doubt. Some of you may be worrying about the health of a friend or even your own health. There are those that are in doubt of how to handle conflict and tension at home, at work, or both. Many of you are worrying about how to make ends meet and you worry about bills that seem to be accumulating with little relief in sight.
Do you believe that God is there with you – present with you- in the midst of your struggles? Or do you sometimes wonder if God has somehow forgotten you and left you alone as you try to find your way back to Him? Many people talk about silence from God or a kind of spiritual exile in which it seems that God has stopped communicating with them. They view this as a kind of punishment that God is inflicting upon them for some supposed disobedience in their lives. I believe that we serve a God of hope and a God of peace who longs to give His children “good and perfect gifts from above.” James 1:17 (NIV): “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights”.
The Apostle Paul, in our scripture reading today, reminds us that our God is a God of hope that stands ready to fill us with all joy and peace, if we will only place our trust in Him alone. And God can powerfully guarantee this because we have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit to accomplish this promise from God. This hope or trust in God can only come about and be realized through the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. God has not left us alone; He is with us and has given us His Holy Spirit to guide us into truth and out of worry and doubt.
Have you ever felt that God has somehow forgotten you because of difficult circumstances? Sometimes we must face and endure things that God can use to draw us closer to Him. I don’t believe that God necessarily sends trouble or suffering our way, but He can always use those circumstances to bring us closer to his unfailing love in which we can experience true joy and peace. It’s important to remember that God is always true to His word and He promises that He will never leave us or forsake us if we remain faithful to God and his word(Hebrews 13:5).
So if you are struggling with worry today, and you are wondering just where God is in the midst of your troubles, remember these words of the Apostle Paul from the book of Romans. Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”.
Prayer: God, we acknowledge that we find it difficult to do life on our own. Life throws us a lot of curveballs and we struggle in our many attempts to place our complete faith and trust in you and you alone. This world that we live in seems to take great delight to use these times of testing and trials to turn our focus away from you. We are told to trust in the things of this world instead of an invisible God that has stopped caring for His people. But we know that this is a lie that Satan wants us to believe, because we know that we serve you God, who not only created the universe but was also intimately involved in creating each of us as well. Help us God to place our faith and trust in you. Help us to remember your promise that you will be always be with us, that you are with us through all of our worries and doubts, especially the times when we fail to place our faith and trust in you. Amen.