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. (Paul's letter to the Romans 15:13, NIV)
I suggest that you read the text a few times. Slowly. Let it sink in. Read it a couple of times more.
When I was a child I used to hope that my team would win the Scottish Cup. They never did. I got really excited the year the made the quarter finals but that was as good as it got. (They did win the Scottish League Cup in 1994, but that's a different story.) At a certain age I realised that they would never match Celtic or Rangers and my interest waned.
Hope on its own is pretty useless when it has to face the facts. Reality kicks in.
Yet here we are being told that we can overflow with hope, not by trying hard or by avoiding reality but by the Holy Spirit. This is not an instant work. Paul, the great first century missionary, wrote that hope comes through suffering, perseverance and character building, and above all the work of the Holy Spirit in us. The person who truly hopes is a masterpiece, and masterpieces take a while.
Even so, let's bless each other with the words of our text. Speak this text out for the people you love, for the people who need it. Paul believed that these words would make a difference. So do I. Try it and see.
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