May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13
What an absolutely beautiful prayer from St. Paul for the Romans. And for us, too. That joy and peace of Christ is only possible when we love and trust our God. We love Him because He loved us first, and we trust that He loves us. Why wouldn’t we be joyful? With God on our side, why wouldn’t we be filled with peace?
Our hope is in forever. A life beyond this one. And it’s a life where every tear will be wiped away. The suffering in this world will not even be a distant memory. We will live in eternal peace and joy in the presence of the Father. Do you know Him? He’s the Lord of all, the Creator of the Universe, He is the first Person of the Holy Trinity. He is called Father by the Son and 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity, Jesus, who is the One who tells us of eternity with Him in Heaven.
But the thing is, we don’t have to wait for that glorious day; we can begin our Heaven on earth right now. When we pray for those who persecute us, we are bringing a bit of Heaven here. When we forgive someone who, in the eyes of the world is beyond forgiveness, there Heaven is again. When we give without counting the cost? That’s Heaven.
And all of these actions are bound up in love. They are the direct result of love. We couldn’t pray for our enemies, or forgive and give generously without love. God is love. So, we can’t do any of this without God. If we love God and love our neighbor, we have constructed a small portion of the Kingdom on earth. Let’s be builders. When we are constructive (and don’t seek to destroy), when we are positive, which means fruitful rather than leaving a ‘scorched path’ in our wake, we do these things out of love. Because, well…God.
To know God is to love Him. And He loved you into being and will not ever stop. He yearns to have a relationship with you; that means you love Him back. I pray that the Holy Spirit will pour the grace of God into our hearts so that we can thirst for God as much as He does for us. That mutual love will carry us through to the end of this world and into the next, into our eternal life.
“Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the earth.
O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, instructs the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit, we may be truly wise and ever enjoy his consolations, through Christ Our Lord. Amen.” – Prayer to the Holy Spirit (3rd Person of the Holy Trinity)