In the Book of Romans, Paul prays on behalf of the Church of Rome, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13). From this passage of Scripture, Paul prays for the Church of Rome that God will fill them with all joy and peace as they trust in Him.
Endless days of struggling, temptations, and bad news can leave us feeling the need for joy and peace especially in the midst of a global pandemic. Believers today are yearning for joy and peace, so is it true that God will fill us with all joy and peace?
What Are Joy and Peace in Christianity?
In this passage of Scripture, Paul is praying on behalf of the Church of Rome, and he refers to God as the “God of hope” (Romans 15:13a). God is the God of hope because He is the only One who can provide hope for our weary souls and will provide us with salvation if we place faith in Christ.
Apart from God, there is not true, everlasting hope. Therefore, God is truly the God of hope. Now that we have established God is the God of Hope, can we rightfully surmise that God will fill us with all joy and peace? Yes, we can. The only condition is that we must trust in God. Paul does not tell us that God will automatically fill us with all joy and peace.
Rather, Paul tells us that God will fill us with all joy and peace as “you trust in Him” (Romans 15:13b). This joy and peace will be filled within our souls by the power of the Holy Spirit. Without the trust factor, joy and peace will not come into our souls.
In order to experience the joy and peace from God, we have to trust in Him. Without trusting in God, our souls will lack peace and joy. As rightly sung by Dan Smith from Bastille in his song, Flaws, “There’s a hole in my soul, I can’t fill it, I can’t fill it,” without trust in God, we will continue to have that hole in our souls.
Only by trusting in God can we experience the joy and peace that comes from Him and by the working of the Holy Spirit. God can truly fill the hole in our souls with joy and peace. The joy and peace we receive by trusting in God come from God Himself.
This means that the joy and peace He provides believers with is perfect joy and perfect peace. By trusting in the Lord, joy and peace will fill an individual’s entire being. God does not want you to go through life worn down by the stresses, struggles, and anxieties of life. The Lord wants you to come to Him and experience the peace that only He can provide.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
Jesus told His disciples during His earthly ministry, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).
The peace that comes from the Lord will bring tranquility to your soul and give you rest. Nothing in this world can provide the peace that Jesus gives as you trust in Him and His Word. As you trust in Him and lean on Him, peace will reside within you.
What Is the Difference Between Joy and Happiness?
The Bible tells us that if we keep our eyes focused on the Lord and trust Him, we will have peace. “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3). In addition to peace, the Lord will bring joy into our hearts as we hope and trust in Him. It is important to mention joy is different from happiness.
Many people believe joy is a synonym of happiness, but it is not. Happiness is based on conditions and circumstances. The biblical definition of joy can be correctly stated as “choosing to respond to external circumstances with inner contentment and satisfaction, because we know that God will use these experiences to accomplish His work in and through our lives.”
A person can have joy without feeling happiness. When Paul prays on behalf of the believers in the Church of Rome, he is not promising that God will fill them with happiness, but rather, fill them with the lasting joy of knowing the Lord.
There is nothing greater in the world to know the Lord and have a relationship with Him. Believers can still feel sadness; however, there is always the resting joy deep within our hearts because we know Jesus.
In the future, all struggles, problems, and difficulties will be abolished. Revelation 21:4 promises us, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
The God of Hope fills us with joy because we are looking forward to the future days of spending eternity with the Lord. The problems we face today are only temporary — they are not eternal. It might seem as if a temptation, trial, or struggle is going on for a long time; however, in comparison to eternity, it is not as long as one might think.
Why Does This Matter?
When we choose to set our hearts and minds on Christ and faithfully trust in Him, joy will resonate in our hearts. Joy and peace can seem like tough things to feel and experience in the present sufferings of the world, yet God is ready to fill you with joy and peace by trusting in Him.
During the time Paul wrote this letter, the Roman believers were experiencing terrible persecution. Paul wanted to remind the believers that joy and peace could be found in Christ even amidst difficult circumstances, struggles, and persecutions.
It is the same way now. Even though most of us are not experiencing physical persecution, we still yearn and crave the peace and joy that only Christ can give. The sinful flesh tries to make us doubt God and His goodness; nevertheless, we must fix our gaze on Christ and rely on Him.
The Lord does not promise to take us out of hard times; however, He does promise to walk alongside us and bless us with joy and peace as we faithfully trust in Him (Psalm 23).
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Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.
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