Verse of the Day Devotion: Romans 15:13   

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 5:13

Here, Paul is writing to the Church in Rome, encouraging them to have hope. He starts this message with two verses that declare Christ to be servant to all people. In verse eight he speaks of the Jews. “For I say that Christ has become a servant to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of God to confirm the promises given to the fathers,” Romans 15:8. Those who were of the circumcision were readily understood to be the Jews.  He was showing the gentiles the importance of bearing with the often-troublesome Jews. He shows them here that they were under the greatest obligations to share with this people the gospel. And He showed this by Jesus confining his ministry to the Jews. And He did this to confirm the truth of God, contained in the promises made unto the patriarchs. But this salvation was not exclusively designed for the Jewish people as God by his prophets had repeatedly declared.

In the next verse we read, “and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.” Romans 15:9. As the Jews were to glorify God for his truth, so the Gentiles were to glorify God for his mercy. In verse nine he quotes a verse in the psalms. “Therefore, I will give thanks to You among the nations, O LORD, And I will sing praises to Your name.” Psalm 18:49.  The ‘nations’, being plural, refers to all nations, which include the gentile nations. In the next verse he quotes from Deuteronomy the following, “Rejoice, O nations, with His people; For He will avenge the blood of His servants, And will render vengeance on His adversaries, And will atone for His land and His people.” Deuteronomy 32:43. Then in verse ten, “Praise the LORD, all nations; Laud Him, all peoples!” Psalm 117:1. And finally in verse twelve, “Then in that day The nations will resort to the root of Jesse, Who will stand as a signal for the peoples; And His resting place will be glorious.” Isaiah 11:10.  This one here is especially pertinent for it speaks of all people standing before the Root of Jesse, Christ, resting together with Him.

Coming to our focus verse, we read “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13. The discussion of the relations between strong and weak in the Church comes to an end with a brief prayer for the readers. The true content and goal of faith is not the right to eat and drink, but joy and peace in the Holy Spirit. There is not to be any division regarding beliefs in the Church.  The Jews and gentiles differed in the food they ate and various other beliefs. And today, we also differ in various ways, such as how we worship or what we do when we gather.  However,  our focus should always be in the hope we all share in Christ, knowing that He is our hope and the God of Hope. We may have differences at times, but we should never allow this to separate or drive us apart. For we all, whether we are Jews or Gentiles, older or younger; conservative or radical, as Christians we all share one God and one hope, that being Jesus Christ. Therefore, let us all join in this one hope, praying as Paul did. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

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