How To Keep Your Peace and Joy
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. (Romans 15:13)
The Lord has promised us a sense of joy in the midst of every circumstance we face. Jesus said: I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. (John 15:11). So how can you hold on to your joy and not lose it? The apostle Paul tells us: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13). Notice that all-important word “believe”. It’s okay to have questions, but you must never doubt God’s love and faithfulness towards you.
One Bible teacher writes: I remember an evening when I was feeling strongly dissatisfied and discontented. I had no peace or joy and was absolutely miserable. I read Romans chapter 15:13, and it was indeed “a word in season” for me. My problem was simple: I was doubting instead of believing. I was doubting God’s unconditional love for me, doubting that I could hear from Him, doubting His call on my life, doubting that He was pleased with me. I was filled with doubt, doubt, doubt. When I saw the problem and got back into faith and out of doubt, my joy and peace returned immediately. I’ve found the same thing to be true again and again in my life. When my joy and peace seem to be gone, I check my believing - usually it is gone also.”
And the same principle applies to you today!
Read John 15 (entire chapter)
The Vine and the Branches
(1) “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. (2) He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. (3)You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. (4) Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. (5) “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (6) If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. (7) If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (8) This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. (9) “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. (10) If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. (11) I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. (12) My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. (13) Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (14) You are my friends if you do what I command. (15) I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. (16) You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit - fruit that will last - and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. (17) This is my command: Love each other.
The World Hates the Disciples
(18) “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. (19) If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. (20) Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. (21) They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. (22) If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. (23) Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. (24) If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. (25) But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’
The Work of the Holy Spirit
(26) “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father - the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father - he will testify about me. (27) And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.