Filled to Overflowing
“We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.” Romans 15:1-2
Paul is referring to those who are strong in their faith in God vs. those who are weaker. The strong, are people with: good understanding of God’s word; firm convictions; and a trust born out of experience. The weak, are people who are: unsure; fearful and hesitant. Those strong in the faith have a duty to build the ones not as mature or well ‘versed’ in the faith. Those who are ‘versed’ are…
FEEDING ON GOD’S WORD…
“…Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” Romans 15:4
Genuine hope comes only through daily encouragement from God’s word. God gives hope to all who trust Him. But trust in God can only be developed by: spending time with Him in prayer (we talk together); reading His word (he talks to us); and by being with other believers (we talk together). But some people trust: in their ability to talk their way out of a jam; or in others to dig them out of the hole they’re in; or (fingers crossed) in money to buy their way out. These people have no hope. It’s our choice: either have hope in God, or be filled with despair.
…AND ARE FULL OF HOPE.
“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
People with hope usually possess joy and peace as well - this brings rest. Hope is related to the future, and when we have hope, our fears of what could happen to us are eliminated. Hope also reduces anger. Notice Paul says, ‘The God of hope’. It’s because He is the only source of hope - anything other than Him is merely a wish, which is fine if we’re blowing out our birthday candles. Don’t we need something stronger than a wish? By trusting in God, we have just that - an overflowing sense of peace for the future and joy in the presence and power of God’s Spirit.
“The God of peace be with you all. Amen.” Romans 15:33