It may be the Monday Kingdom verse:
“…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).
John Eldredge, in Wild at Heart podcast today, says that hope is being assaulted. I have no final word if that is conspiratorial. It is the natural outcome of what we are living in and through. My Message Bible was open to Romans 15 which seemed like a “in the mouth of 2-3 witnesses.” The times call for spiritual/supernatural hope.
“Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!”
So that your believing lives. Is the “I” in lives long or short? Hopelessness is more pervasive than the virus. It has grasped the hand of helplessness and is producing not only locked-down cities, but locked-down people. So, how to keep a believing life alive?
I was sorting through boxes of books I stored in our garage some years ago. I found notebooks of sermons. The best part of my sermons are stories and quotations. I glanced through a couple and found two quotes from kids I talked to in concerts. I asked a child if the girl sitting next to her was her sister. She looked at the girl, looked thoughtfully at me and replied, “No. I’m the sister.” Another child asked me, “What is the name of your best friend?”
There you have it—at least part of it. 1. Keep your relationships straight—not pecking order, but how you are related and how you relate. 2. Know who your friends are and how you benefit and are beneficial to those people. One of my friends posted this morning,
“…we are walking each other home.”
The Message Bible is a translation, not a paraphrase. Peterson found something “growing” in God-hope that he named it green hope. It is on the grow. Romans 15:13 turns hope on its head. The saying is, “As long as you have hope….” This verse says when God fills us with joy and peace, hope will be the outcome. Hope becomes systemic when we open ourselves to joy and peace—gifts from the Father.
Chaos and darkness. Hell has loosed highly skilled demons, principalities and powers. The fresh appearance of The Christ is needed and our opening to His joy and peace. America has social-distanced itself from Christ too long.
Carole and I decided not to decorate for Christmas. Maybe hang a picture of a Christmas tree next to a crackling fireplace on TV. Several days into the pledge, Carole has hung lights on railings, trees and windows. There is a large vase in the bay window filled with strings of white lights. And a tree in the kitchen. She is fighting back against the darkness. Joy and peace can be weaponized.
Eggnog and holly—no mistletoe this year. We need a fresh awakening to His presence.
“We Need a Little Christmas”– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8k7S77x5QOQ
If you have not read my ebook, HopePushers-–intent on delivery, you can download it from https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/572059
©2020 D. Dean Benton