The God of Hope

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

Have you ever been around someone filled with joy and peace? Do you remember how it made you feel? Didn’t you feel more at peace and bit more joyful in spite of all that might have been going on in your life?

I know many such people but one person in particular stands out. That person is my wife’s aunt, Beverly Heath. She is a joyous lady who always has a smile on her face and good things to say about life, people, and her circumstances. She is also a gifted artist who paints beautiful pictures, creates amazing ceramics, and handcrafts many wonderful things. The joy and peace she exhibits are contagious to those with whom she comes in contact. Her hope and blessed outlook overflow so that others are touched by what spills forth from her spirit.

Beverly also retired as the director of a local Adult Day Care center and now helps my wife and I with the memory café we host once a month at Hodgenville United Methodist Church. She has a joyous way of reaching people and getting them to talk about what is going on in their lives. Everyone who attends leaves the memory café with a joyful heart and a peaceful spirit because of the way Christ shines through Beverly.

This is exactly what Paul was talking about when he asked God to fill the people of the church at Rome with joy and peace. Paul knew if the Roman church received the gifts of joy and peace, others would see the manifestation of Christ in their lives, just like Beverly. Then the people of the church would be content in their circumstances and a spirit of hope would emanate from them. Paul knew contentment flows freely from a spirit filled with joy and peace.

Having Alzheimer’s is a difficult situation but it should not impact how God’s spirit shines through you. Joy and peace can still be products of your life so you can be content in your current situation. I know this to be true because I am content, joyful, and at peace as I live with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Like Beverly, we should all be filled with the joy and peace of Christ. Why? So we can overflow with hope so others might find hope through us!

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