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 (Rom. 15:13). And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die (Rom 5:5-7).
Dear heavenly Father, of all the ways you are revealed in the book of Romans, none is more precious to me than the title, “the God of hope.” Oh, the centering and settling, the peace and joy, the consolation and comfort that come to us because of the hope with which you intend to fill us through the gospel.
You give hope, not hype, blessed assurance, not empty rhetoric. There’s no “bait and switch” with you, just promise and delivery, no “house of cards,” but a household of faith.
And, Father, we know this to be true because at just the right time, you sent Jesus for us—the sinless One for ungodly rebels, fools and idolaters like me; your omnipotent Son for powerless wannabe self-saviors like me; the Author of life for men and women, like me, dead in our sins and trespasses. We praise, bless and adore you.
The hope you give will never disappoint us or put us to shame. In fact, the hope you give leads to the elimination of all shame. You have flooded these guilt laden, shame paralyzed hearts of ours with your irrepressible, transforming love. Grant us flippers and snorkels to swim around in the hyper-abundance of the love and hope you have lavished on us in Jesus!
And just as you sent Jesus the first time at the right time, so we trust you to send him the second time, at the perfect moment; to bring to completion the good work you have begun in us and in your whole cosmos—to make all things new, to put all things right, to make everything sad become untrue.
Until that Day, FILL us with hope that we might overflow with hope for one another. May we be lovers, not fixers, in our world of relationships; a people who know how to weep with those who are grieving, and dance with those who are coming alive to your grace. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ bold and beautiful name.