In Praise of God’s Outrageous Goodness

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May the God of endurance and encouragement

grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus. Rom. 15:5

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Rom. 15:13

May the God of peace be with you all. Amen. Rom. 15:33

Heavenly Father, your Word never ceases to astonish, nourish, and cause our hearts to flourish. Taken together, all 1189 chapters of the Bible reveal you to be so much more loving and grace-full than we can imagine. In this one chapter alone, (Romans 15), you come to us as…

     The God of endurance and encouragement. Father, you know how much we need both of these grace-gifts. Why can’t our crucibles, crises, and challenges be spread out a little more evenly in life? Grant us strength, wisdom, and rest, Father, and encourage our often-weary hearts.

     The God of hope. We live in an increasingly complex world, Father. It feels more uncertain and fragile than ever. Fill the eyes of our hearts with a vision of your finished story. Quicken our senses with the sights and sounds of our forever life in new heaven and new earth.

By faith, let us smell the aroma of that Garden City, and the beauty of what it’s going to be like when Jesus finishes making all things new. May this sure hope give us courage to serve you faithfully with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. Indeed, Father, we want to overflow with hope, not just be a slow drip.

     The God of peace. Father, you are the consummate peacemaker, reconciling enemies and restoring broken things. We have peace with you only because you have made your peace with us through the work of Jesus. We have peace from you, because you will never leave or forsake us. May this ever-sweet assurance free us today to live as a conduit of your shalom-making love and power. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ merciful and mighty name.

 

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