Words From The Heart: Special Weekly Reflection #33


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 (NIV)

I recently watched a video by a Canadian Christian musician, singing a song about hope. She was doing so while holding her baby. In the song she asks a powerful question: “Tomorrow’s children seek our hearts. Will they know who they really are? The center of a thousand stars and the breathers of the breath of God.”

Our world tells us that we are just a product of chance. An infinite number of random actions over billions of years, and you became you. The result of that worldview is that people search for meaning, checking out a variety of human-centric philosophies and religions. Ultimately, none provide the inner peace and purpose that they long for.

As challenging as this is when life goes along smoothly, when something like a pandemic occurs, it can make life impossible. This doesn’t come as a surprise. Viktor Frankl, a Nazi Concentration Camp survivor, wrote his iconic book Man’s Search for Meaning, in 1946. In it he writes “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.”

The “why” only makes sense when a person sees himself, or herself, as lovingly created by a God who loves them and has placed them just where He wants them, in this day, for this world. It is that assurance that gives life true meaning. We are the breathers of the breath of God.

When we come into relationship with Jesus Christ, and God takes up residence in us (what a profound mystery), hope rises, even in the midst of challenging times. The apostle Paul speaks to this in Romans 15:13: “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.”

When we know that we are created by a loving God, who has stepped into the world through Jesus Christ and into our lives by the Holy Spirit, we have the assurance that nothing happens in our lives by chance. That makes sense. If your worldview is that you are here by chance, everything that happens is by chance. If your worldview is that you are lovingly created by God, who has a purpose for your life, then nothing happens by chance. Not even a pandemic.

In the midst of the worst that life can throw our way, we have the prayer of Paul to his Christian friends in Rome: that the God of hope, the God who planned for us to be here for a purpose, will fill us with all joy and peace. It means trusting Him, Paul reminds us. Even in the tough times, and the Christians in Rome to whom Paul was writing were facing incredibly tough times. As we trust the Lord, in the midst of a pandemic, we will find an overflow of hope, pouring out into a world that is desperate for it.

I’m Bob Beasley, and these have been words from the heart.