The Word

Romans 15:13


May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope.

The Message

The events of my life in the last few months have made it necessary for me to revisit such simple Christian tenets as faith and hope. I needed to build my faith afresh, so I began to read the Epistles all over again. Then I came across this verse and had to pause. Because, I had the two words in the same sentence, a prayer Paul the Apostle was saying for the Romans, I felt a pull to look at it again. It is one of those very technical sentences that one has to pause and break apart.

I checked for simple dictionary meanings and found that faith is belief that is not based on proof. That is why it is described as the evidence of things not seen. On the other hand, hope is the emotional state, which promotes the belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one’s life. It is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.

It is impossible to have faith without hope. They go hand-in-hand. The difference is that hope is an emotional state while faith is a state of mind. Hope takes place in the heart while faith happens in the mind. When they agree, you have you miracle.


Therefore, when Paul prays for you to be filled with joy and peace in your faith, he is simply helping you reinforce your belief system because they are the elements that fuel your hope and faith to keep them alive. He further invites the power of the Holy Spirit, the source of peace and joy, to ensure the continuous bubbling of hope which works hand-in-hand with faith.

The analogy my mind brings up is my fuel tank. I have been advised severally not to allow my tank go too low before I refuel. The car engine picks up dirt if the fuel is too low and it affects the performance of the car. In the same way, the Holy Spirit must constantly supply joy and peace for our faith and hope to abound and keep us till we obtain the miracles we desire. If the supply is low, we will not perform as well as we should. We become like the waves which are very unsteady, tossed to and fro by ever wind that blows.

At the point I had full understanding; I put my Bible aside and smiled. I was amazed at the maze of words Paul was able to string together to get the point home. But I have finally been able to understand the difference between hope and faith. I also understand that peace and joy are essential to the working of my faith in hope. I am beginning to sound like Paul.

So in conclusion, I trust God for you that the Holy Spirit that dwells in you, will keep an abundant and overflowing supply of joy and peace you need to help you stand in faith for the things you hope for. In Jesus Name. Amen.