Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super abundance until you radiate with hope!
Romans 15:13 TPT
My heart was heavy with grief. It had been a rough season – both my parents had passed away within four months of each other. I was trying to be gentle with myself through the process of grief. So when my morning devotional brought me to Romans 15:13 I had an honest conversation with God.
“God, I do have confident hope that my parents have eternal life in you. But I am not overflowing with joy or peace. I am not sure that is even possible right now.”
Reading God’s Word and listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit can be difficult as you travel through the various stages of grief. It’s OK. Give yourself grace. Use a “tried and true” devotional and keep faithfully reading even though it doesn’t seem like anything is really penetrating. That is what I had done. Learning something new from the Word just seemed too difficult so I grabbed a well-used yearly devotional and kept my sunrise reading routine.
As I sat quietly that morning I sensed a shift in me as I settled into the verse and took a second look at each word. I realized three impacting truths that morning:
- I don’t need to drum up hope in my heart. God, Himself, is both the inspiration and the fountain of hope. I can anchor my grieving heart in Him.
- I don’t have to produce my own joy and peace. The promise is that God will fill me up as I trust in him.
- The Holy Spirit surrounds me with his power. I will radiate with hope as I allow that encircling power to fill me.
From that morning on I turned Romans 15:13 into my daily prayer.
“God, thank you for the confidence of eternal life. I know mom and dad are in heaven with you. Lord, I ask you to fill me to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace. I will continually keep my trust in you and my eyes looking upward. Holy Spirit, I invite you to surround me with your power. I will continue to give myself time and grace to grieve, knowing that you are my God of hope.”
As I prayed that prayer over the next few weeks I could sense my heart lighten, my spirit soar, and my life radiate with hope. The same can happen to you.
Have you given yourself permission to grieve in your own way and in your own timeline?
During this season of grief are you grasping for hope, joy, and peace in your life?
Let your heart rest in the God of hope. He is always true to his character and does not waver from his values and commitments to you. You don’t need to struggle to grab hope, be joyful, or at peace. Just receive those as gifts from God. Let Him be your inspiration and the fountain of hope.