Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Words of Encouragement

And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles, and laud him all ye people. And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Now the God of hope fill you will all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. – Romans 14:10-13

Count it all joy. Gift of Salvation. Paul admonishes the Gentiles to rejoice in the great gift they have been given. Paul speaks the words that the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said there would be a root of Jesse that would rise and reign over the Gentiles. Jesse was king David’s father and this is the lineage of the savior. The savior came for the people of God, the Jews, but salvation was made available to everyone. Those that would accept Christ as savior would be grafted into the family of God to become the people of God.

Because of this opening up of salvation to all mankind, we can now have the joy that comes only from God. I like what the scripture says the “God of Hope”. The God of expectation, the God of trust, the God of looking forward are all titles that come from this understanding of the God of hope. We now have an expected end that we can joyfully look forward to. We can trust in God’s word and his promises because he is trustworthy. We can look forward to this new life he has given and what it entails. That which was behind, the sin and disobedience has been forgiven and now we can be filled with the joy and peace of the Lord.

Oh what a glorious future we have! We can continue to abound in hope, joy and peace through the working of the Holy Spirit within our lives. Today I pray for us to continue forward with the God that takes us forward. God does not take us backwards, so we should stop trying to go back into that which we have been delivered from. Stop trying to go back in to “Egypt” because the wilderness seems too hard and we have forgotten just how difficult our bondage was. Stop trying to turn back to what you had and like Lot’s wife turn into a pillar of salt. We surely can get “salty” when we think about what we have to let go of at times. So instead today Lord we ask you to help us look forward and count all things joy because we have been given a new chance, a new life and a new start.