Major Inner Difference: Romans 15:13
“13) Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans‬ ‭15:13‬
Knowing God leaves people full of hope. The God of the Bible is the God of hope. The Bible presents the picture of life beyond this life. For the believer, it is called eternal life. This present mortal life will be swallowed up by immortality for all eternity. 1 Corinthians 15:33-58 tells the story.
The result is joy and pease in believing. These are not artificial emotions. They are the byproduct of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22-24 includes them in a list of eight fruits of the Spirit.
Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruit.” (See the full context of Matthew 7:15-23) Anyone can be religious, but only a born-again Christian can produce the fruit of the Spirit!
Keep in mind, in the verse we are looking at today, Paul was writing to Romans. Joy and peace were not the byproduct of Roman life or society. Life was hard in Rome. War was a constant. Many people groups had been conquered and turned into slaves. Significant numbers of people were geographically uprooted against their will.
This was part of what made the gospel message so appealing in Rome. The Holy Spirit brought inner hope, joy and peace to people in otherwise hopeless situations.
The late Corrie ten Boom was was a Dutch Christian who helped shelter Jewish from the Nazis Holocaust of during World War II. Because of her families actions, the ten Boom family were all arrested or died in concentration camps. Corrie herself survived a long stay in Ravensbrick concentration camp where she lost her sister Betsie. She later had a world wide ministry and wrote her most famous book called “The Hiding Place.”
As a new Christian back in 1973, I heard Corrie speak of her ordeal at Ravensbrick. After sharing about the terrible conditions they endured, she talked about their secret Bible studies and prayer meetings. Then Corrie said; “We would look within and be depressed. We would look without and be repressed. But we would look to Jesus and be impressed!” That struck me like a lightening bolt.
She captured what Paul was talking about in this verse. She was pointing to their experience of the inner fruit produced by the indwelling Holy Spirit even during the darkest trials of life. The Holy Spirit is the source of inner power, faith, hope, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. He brings inner tranquility in the midst of the storm.
Foxes Book of Martyrs points to this inner tranquility experienced consistently by the early Christian martyrs. I have witnessed it over and over again by Christians around the world. Some were in refugee camps. Others live in abject poverty. Still others were wealthy business people who were dedicated to Jesus. Many were in the waiting room at hospitals as they prayed for loved ones in surgery or who were about to be promoted to glory.
Believers have an inner hope, joy and peace that the non Christian world cannot duplicate. I believe it is the witness of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
If this is absent in your life, I encourage you to turn to Jesus in sincere faith. Invite Him to sit on the throne of your life. Step down and let Him reign. Open your heart to the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global