“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” vs. 13
Paul’s life had changed in amazing ways and we can imagine that at times he found it hard to believe that he, a devout Jew, would be writing a powerful epistle of inclusion to Gentiles. At one point he had persecuted Christians because they recognized Jesus as messiah. Now he was opening the kingdom of heaven to uncircumscribed pagans and was encouraging them to trust in the Lord he had come to love and to serve. He believes with all his heart that his God would reward the faith of the Romans and would fill them with joy and peace. What a blessing it had been for him to realize that God wasn’t some narrow tribal deity who had eyes for only a chosen few! What a blessing it is for us to begin to comprehend the gracious extent of God’s love! Boundaries are broken down and doors are opened as we stop judging in the name of God and start loving in the name of Jesus. Instead of cowering in fear we can start living with thanksgiving and hope in our hearts. The key of course is faith! Unless we trust that God is the life-giver who brings restoration and healing to all people, the blessings will never be ours. On our own such faith is impossible, but thanks be to God, the Holy Spirit, who made a believer out of Paul does the same for us.
Thought for the Day: How has my faith been transformed?