– Romans 15:13
One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is joy (Gal 5:22), and that is not something that comes and goes. The joy of the Lord is not only our strength (Neh 8:10), it is our present possession. The Apostle Paul asked God to fill the Christians at Rome with joy and I believe that’s a prayer request that God would answer. Have you asked for joy? God wants you to have joy and not sorrow because we know that whatever happens will always work out for our very best (Rom 8:28).
Paul asked God to fill the church at Rome with hope and this hope would bring peace but this joy and peace only comes if we put our “trust in him” (Rom 15:13). Without hope, we have nothing, but with hope, we can endure everything, because not even life or death or anything else in creation can ever separate us from God (Rom 8:38-39). Shouldn’t that give you every reason to put your hope in God?
Just before Calvary where Jesus was to suffer and die and then be raised on the third day, his disciples were anxious, so Jesus tells them, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27). Whatever Jesus gives remains. He doesn’t give us something and then take it back. Jesus leaves us His peace because we are now at peace with God because we’ve made peace with God (Rom 5:1), and so Jesus could say, “my peace I give you” and my peace will remain, so there is no reason to be afraid.
Just before Jesus went back to heaven, He promised His followers that “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Surely you are like me and can use all the power of God you can get, and having access to God’s power, we should have no fear because “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2nd Tim 1:7).
Pray that God would fill you with the joy of the Lord, so that you would have joy as a permanent possession, but also that you would have “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:7). This joy, hope, and peace should give you the power to endure, but also the power to proclaim the gospel to the lost. Those are all good things, aren’t they?