Joy, Peace, Hope

“The reproach of those who reproached you fell on me.”

Reading in the New King James version of the Bible one might gloss over it. A modern translation like the NIV might awaken us: “The insults of those who insulted you, O God, have fallen on me.” (Romans 15:3)

Now it becomes relevant as applied to the treatment given Christianity in today’s hostile environment. How then are we to respond? Romans 15:13 reads: “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.”

Three traits are to identify us: JOY, PEACE, and HOPE.

The first part of the verse coupled with the concluding part explains how this is possible. “May the God of hope … by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Notice you are to be “filled.” Pleroo is the Greek word translated “filled.” It means to fill to the brim. Joy is the holy optimism that keeps us going in spite of circumstance. May that result in you being filled with joy. 

Remember: THE JOY OF THE LORD IS YOUR STRENGTH. Flex your joy muscle!

This joy is not the absence of problems, it is the presence of the Lord.

The Greek word for joy is chara meaning “gladness” or “delight.”

Our second dispositional trait is peace. When most folks think of peace they think of serenity. Today as in the era of the Bible, there are two primary challenges to peace. One is inner tensions. They are caused by distractions. The word “distract” means to “pull apart.” We are pulled apart when the worldly spirit engages us in a civil war with the spirit of the Lord. May the spirit of the Lord enable you to overcome the spirit of the world. 

The second threat to peace is external worries. Worry is said to be the official emotion of our generation. Christ only can enable us to respond positively to those things that wound our hearts and baffle our minds. The more you fill your mind with the knowledge of the Lord the more likely you are to overcome today’s attitude. 

A moment of reality! This is talking about our response to our hostility.

Joy and peace are yours “…that you may abound in hope.” That means we are to be bubbling over with hope. Why? Because “a merry heart does good like a medicine.” (Proverbs 17:22)

Hope defined as a verb means to desire with expectation of obtaining, or to expect with optimism. Our English word hope means to desire with expectation.

David asks and answers for us: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.” (Psalm 42:5) Get in the Scripture “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of Scripture might have hope.”

Whenever a person with the spirit of the world starts complaining they are opening the door for you to witness by expressing these traits: JOY, PEACE, and HOPE.