Hope, peace, joy and love. Just the basics things that we all crave in our daily grind. I did a little word search in the Bible to see what I could find and was overwhelmed with the results. Here’s a small sampling of what I found:
“…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength…” Isaiah 40:31
We hope for peace. We hope for joy. We hope for love. We hope for the sunrise after an impossibly long night. We hope for good health, a pay raise and that the next Visa bill will be miraculously paid. But our hope is in the wrong places and we are hoping for the wrong things.
“Faith is being certain of what we hope for…” Hebrews 11:1
If our hope is based in faith, then we are moving in the right direction. That faith must be in the God “who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6). Now, that is a hope that we can be certain of.
Yet still we hope for peace – peace of mind, peace within our homes and families, peace in our country, worldwide peace. But again, our hope is misplaced. The only peace we are responsible for is peace within our own hearts and even that comes from God.
“the fruit of righteousness will be peace.” Isaiah 32:17
Being a righteous person sounds so pretentious, but it just means a person who is in a “right relationship” with God. Not a perfect relationship but being able to acknowledge God’s sovereignty in your life. We are promised that trying to live a righteous life will result in personal peace, peace with God and yourself.
“The prospect of the righteous is joy” Proverbs 10:28
Being righteous also results in joy. I always thought that I had to create my own happiness. Then I started to read the Bible and realized that most of my ideas were in direct contrast to what God wanted for me. Funny, isn’t it? When I turned to the Bible for answers to my questions, the answers that I found turned my questions upside down. There is joy (and hope and peace) in a life devoted to God. Who knew?!?
“Faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love…” 1 Corn. 13:13
Ah, love. That all too human, never ending quest for love. It is God’s greatest gift to us. It is given freely even though we cannot reciprocate and often don’t even notice the offer, sadly enough. Once again, it is found in righteousness.
“Love and faithfulness meet together, righteousness and peace kiss each other.” Psalm 85:10.
We try to be faithful. We strive to be righteous. We will often fail. Yet God will still be love (1John4:16). It is His nature to love us. He will still grant us the right to be called His child (1John 3:1). And in that promise we will find a righteousness along with hope, peace and joy all wrapped up in love.