May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17
We are studying peace this Christmas from John 14:27, the gift He left us and here are two more verses of interest from Romans. Paul writes for the God of hope to fill them joy and peace, and it is the Holy Spirit who is the power and gives us the power to abound in hope, even if it does appear hopeless, it isn’t impossible to Jesus and we are not without hope if we are believers, unless we let go of our trust in Him.
Ephesians 2:12 explains how that before we were believers we were separated from Christ, strangers to the covenant of promise and without hope or God in this world. So we definitely do not want to let go of our hope which is our belief in Christ. Sometimes, we can ignore studying or praying or just when it is so difficult to hang on, we want to let go, but He will help us hang onto His promises.
We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain. Hebrews 6:19 , we know that curtain is the veil of the temple in the Old Testament, and refers to the very flesh of Christ, torn in crucifixion, as was the temple veil when He gave up His Spirit, and went to retrieve Adam’s authority from the devil who had the power of death, Jesus defeated it for us.
These few verses from chapter 6, explain how He is our High Priest now, He gave us access to the Father, we can go in boldly before the Mercy Seat, and God is ready to hear and answer prayer because of the sacrifice of His Son, who resides in our hearts, and God cannot lie because of the two immutable things, the body and blood. Jesus is our anchor, our hope.
And I thought Nehemiah 8:10, about the joy of the Lord being our strength was interesting to compare to Romans 14:17, Nehemiah has read the Word to people who believe and he tells them to celebrate, it is a feast day and not to grieve, something we often overlook in the verse, then that the joy of the Lord is our strength. I wrote before how wonderful that can be to celebrate everyday with feasting and joy when you know you can rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 124:18.
So there is eating and drinking here and Paul says the kingdom of God is not about eating or drinking but righteousness, peace ad joy in the Spirit, and He is right too. There is no way we are righteous but for Jesus, He exchanged our unrighteousness for His righteousness, and though He told us not to worry about what we will eat or drink, in Matthew 6, it is to get us off of worrying about lack, God wants to provide for us, not without work but without toil. Isn’t that peace and a gift?
While we celebrate, and we do enjoy our meals this Christmas, we just don’t want that to be focus of our holiday, but we should celebrate being a believer, even everyday in His joy and peace. We can enjoy eating and drinking, and His joy, even more so than in Nehemiah’s day, the Holy Spirit only came on people, now He is within us as believers in Christ.
And we are no longer strangers to the hope, which is so much more than a Christmas wish, it is the certainty of God and that He cannot lie because, He gave His Son, that we might, not only to the mercy seat, but to the throne of grace and into the kingdom of righteousness, His kingdom and He placed that in us by the Spirit and His joy and the gift of His peace.
Have a blessed and Merry Christmas.
The God of peace will soon crush satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Romans 16:20
Afishera / Pixabay