Published by Barnabas International • PO Box 11211 • Rockford, IL 61126 • Volume VII • No. 6 • June 1993
LAREAU LINDQUIST, Founder
Sometimes the troubles of life can seem overwhelming. We feel like crying, "Too much!" This last month has been that kind of month for me. Then in God's goodness He brought me a text of Scripture that I had previously overlooked…
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)
I have read and re-read this verse many times in recent weeks. What a powerful text of Scripture. What a loaded promise from God to us for our times of trouble…but also for all of our times. In this text, I learn much about God.
HE IS A GOD OF HOPE. Yes…that is His name. I know of no other place…no other person…where I can find genuine hope. Hope for today and hope for eternity.
HE IS A POSITIVE GOD. He offers me "joy…peace…hope." Everyone seeks these things and all of them are found in Him.
HE IS A GENEROUS GOD. He says here that we can be "filled with all joy and peace." He also says here that we can "overflow with hope." My eyes lingered long over these words of filling and overflowing. Not just a drop of blessing occasionally. Not just a fleeting moment of hope…but generous hope. Out of His generosity He offers us total sufficiency.
There is, however, an important ingredient htat cannot be overlooked. Hear the verse again.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him.
Aha…the secret is found in trusting Him. No matter what the problems, trusting Him…when you are wounded again and again…when you wonder if you can make it through this difficult hour...when your
Hope and joy and peace are diminishing…when you think there is no possible good that can come out of your circumstances…when you doubt that God can ever be glorified in this current mess. Then you return to this great text of Scripture and you reaffirm that God indeed is a God of hope. He is a positive God. He is a generous God. And …you affirm afresh that you will indeed trust Him. Then you will find the reality of the text when the Holy Spirit releases His power in you and you discover that there is hope and joy and peace. Indeed, all that you need.
The other day I read of a wise Christian who found a Trouble Tree. It was a tree located one block from his house. Daily this man would take a walk and pass the Trouble Tree. Listen to him as he tells us what he does with this tree.
Every evening as I pass this tall poplar, I leave all the troubles and worries of the day right there. I am through carrying these things around with me. I hang them on the branches…and I throw back my shoulders, stir up a grin, breathe a prayer of relief, and get back to this business of living. Once I carried all of my weights and the load got heavier and heavier and I almost broke down. But…no more. Now I hang them on the Trouble Tree. Usually by morning, they have blown away.
The God of Hope is…yes…He is our Trouble Tree.