If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed with sadness, anger, pain, or grief and those feelings are overflowing and messing up other areas of your life, I’m glad that you’re peeking into my Bible Journal. Here’s what I’ve learned from Romans 15:13: 

 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. 

This verse is a blessing spoken by pastor named Paul to the believers in Rome. This is similar to the kind of blessing that your pastor might speak at the end of a sermon or message to the audience. 

In my journal, I drew a picture that looked like this: 

There are multiple visual images that came to mind as soon as I read the words. First, I loved the idea that God is our source of hope. This means that if God is our source of hope, then we never have to worry about running out of hope. No matter how bad a situation seems, how impossible a circumstance appears, or how much of a dead end we’ve run into, God never runs out of hope to give us. 

Consider the words “fill you completely with joy and peace.” Some of us were told that we were filled with something that’s probably inappropriate to mention here. Think of what you’ve been filled with lately. Anxiety? Anger? Sadness? 

When we’re filled with negative emotions, life will feel hopeless. But, Paul writes that God WILL fill us with joy and peace. What would it feel like to be filled with joy, which is an eternally uplifted heart?  What would it feel like to be filled with peace, which is a calm mind and spirit? I’m guessing that all of us would rather drain our anxiety, anger, or sadness to instead be filled with joy and peace. 

But how do we do it? 

Paul says that we are filled with joy and peace when we trust God. In fact, the amount of joy and peace we experience is directly correlated to how much we trust God.  

What’s the word that connects us to trusting God? Willingness.  

-Am I willing to let God lead in my circumstance? 

-Am I willing to be obedient to what God is calling me to do (or not do)? 

And when we trust God, hope flows out of our lives and into the lives of the people around us. Our world needs more hope! We put more hope into the world by letting God’s hope pour in us so that we can pour it out to others. 

Prayer from my journal: 

Dear God, I thank you that I do not have to live drained, depressed, or discouraged. I am grateful that I can live each day peaceful, joyful, and have more than enough hope to share with others. Amen. 

Share in the comments, how can you be willing to trust God today?