Hope & Joy

I  have said it before, but it bears repeating.  I do not see a plethora of joy in the body of Christ.  I thought of this today as I was pondering on the connection between hope and joy.

The 1828 Webster’s Dictionary describes joy as the passion or emotion excited by the expectation of good.

What an excellent description of biblical hope!  Hope is the expectation of good from a good God.

Romans 4:17 says, for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

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

Our hope in God will produce joy and peace.  According to this scripture, our joy and peace from a hope that God will do what He said He would do.  It is a fruit of the Spirit.  When we abound in hope, we are filled with peace and joy.

Joy is produced from a hope of what is to come… Jeremiah 29:11 God says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Gods plan for us is one of a good future, a hopeful future.

Hebrews 12:2 says; Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

With Jesus, His joy came because He knew what came after the cross.  He knew it’ glorious outcome!  As we fix our eyes on Him, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, we too will have a joy, knowing the promises to come.  Our glorious outcome is already fulfilled in Him.  We can have faith in that truth.  We can and should hope for a glorious future!

Hope is vital.  If we lose hope, we lose joy and peace.

We cannot afford to view our future through the lens of disappointment.  We must behold our future and the future of our loved ones through the lens of hope.  A hope in a God that never lies.  A hope in a God who is faithful to His word.  A hope in the finished work of the cross.

Hope is the soil in which joy and peace grow.  The more firmly established our hope in God is, the more joy and peace will be evident in our life.

We should be like a child on Christmas Eve.  They have no idea what awaits them the next day…but they believe with all their heart it is going to be awesome.  They are so excited at what is to come.  They are so filled with joy they can barely sleep.  That, my friend, is how we should be when thinking on the promises of God.  We should be so excited about what is to come that joy pours out of us!

Another characteristic of joy is strength.

Isaiah 40:31 says; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength; they will fly up on wings like eagles; they will run and not be tired; they will walk and not be weary. CEB

Those who hope in God are strengthened.  Nehemiah 8:10 says; the joy of the Lord is our strength.  Joy is an important part of our life.  We won’t have the strength to stand in faith without joy.  And we cannot have joy without true hope in God.

Where are your eyes fixed today?  Are they fixed upon the promises of God and His faithfulness?  Or are they fixed upon what you see with your natural eyes?  True hope will fix its eyes upon God and His word.  True hope will not be moved by what they see.

Our hope is in God.  It is in His word.  It is in the finished work of the cross.

Just like we need air to breathe, we need hope to have joy and peace in our life.  Real hope.  Biblical hope.  When we are filled with hope, we are filled with joy.  We are filled with an expectation of good things coming our way.

Today, may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in fully believing Him and His infallible word.  May you abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit…from this day on.  (Romans 15:13)

 

 

“With joyful and confident expectation – trust Him” KP

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