The kingdom of God is … joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy
Paul writes many blessings in his letters to those who follow Jesus. The following blessing is a wonderful blessing we can speak or write to our spouse, our children, our extended family and one another.
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 1513 NASB
Look at the contents of that short blessing. First, we have the God of hope. Then, fill you with all joy and peace in believing. Then so you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. God fills us with joy. His joy wells up within us as a result of the faith, hope and love He gives us. Paul concludes the love chapter of the Bible ‘”For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love (1 Cor 13:12-13 NASB). Faith, is a gift God (Eph 2:8). Christ Jesus is our hope (1 Tim 1:1). Character produces hope (Ro 5:4). “Hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us (Ro 5:5).
Our primary hope is the hope of glory
Because of God’s doing, our hope is not a wavering or uncertain opinion, but a God will do it certainty. By the power of the Holy Spirit, God gives us joyful faith in His fulfillment of our salvation; life in the world to come; the hope of glory. We of the Covenant in Jesus’ blood have Christ in us, the hope of glory (Col 1:27). Jesus had the joy of the hope of glory. For the joy set before Him, Jesus endured the cross (Heb 12:2). The hope of glory Christ instills in us is our hope for God’s kingdom that is to come. It is the inheritance (Mt 25:34, Eph 1:1-14) reserved in heaven (1 Pe 1:4) for God’s children, His heirs (Jas 2:5, Ro 8:17, Tit 3:7), including you and me. Our ultimate hope is to live with God eternally in the regenerated world to come (Mt 12:32, Mk 10:30, Lk 18:30, Heb 2:5, Heb 6:5, Rev 21-22).
God calls you and me into this kingdom and glory. He plants His call deep down in our hearts full of hope and it motivates us to walk worthy of Him.
In Revelation 21-22, John describes the glory of Gods kingdom
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Revelation 21:1-2 KJV
And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Revelation 21:10-11 KJV
And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it. Revelation 21:22-24 KJV
That is our hope of glory at fulfillment.
Jesus fulfilled His mission on earth for the joy set before Him
Jesus endured the cross for the joy set before Him (Heb 12-1-2) and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Heb 10:12). He is the king of the kingdom that is. He will hand His kingdom over to His Father after the resurrection of the dead and we will live in the kingdom of God that is to come (1 Cor 15:20-28). That was the joy set before Him.
Now, with joy unspeakable (unable to find expression in words), we look forward to the inheritance God has reserved for us in heaven (1 Peter 1:4-8).
The people of old looked forward to the kingdom that is to come, as we do. They didn’t have Christ in them, for the Spirit was not poured out until Jesus ascended into heaven (Acts 2:1-4). Yet, they had hope, for they had faith. With their examples of faith, we are urged to run with endurance the race that is set before us.
The faith chapter of the Bible begins with: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation” (Heb 11:1-2 ISV). It then enumerates the exploits of faith by the people of old. A third of the way through the chapter, we see: “All these people died having faith. They did not receive the things that were promised, yet they saw them in the distant future and welcomed them, acknowledging that they were strangers and foreigners on earth. For people who say such things make it clear that they are looking for a country of their own” (Heb 11:13-14 ISV). The chapter concludes with: “All these people won approval for their faith but they did not receive what was promised, since God had planned something better for us, so that they would not be perfected without us” (Heb 11:39-40 ISV).
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 NASB
Jesus shows us how our joy might be full
Through the parable of the Vine and the branches, Jesus shows us how to relate in such a way that our joy might be full. He is the Vine. We are the branches. Jesus encourages us to be connected and to allow His life to flow in us and through us. He says:
If you stay in Me and what I say stays in you, ask for anything you want, and it will be done for you. You glorify My Father when you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples. As the Father has loved Me, so I have loved you. Stay in My love. If you obey My commandments, you’ll stay in My love, as I have obeyed My Father’s commandments and stay in His love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you and that your joy might be full. This is what I order you to do: love one another as I have loved you. No one has a greater love than he who gives his life for his friends. You’re My friends if you do what I order you to do. I don’t call you servants any more, because a servant doesn’t know what his master is doing. But I’ve called you friends because I’ve told you everything I heard from My Father. You didn’t choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that doesn’t pass away and to have the Father give you anything you ask Him in My name. This is what I order you to do: love one another. John 15:7-17 AAT
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. Now those who belong to the Messiah Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also be guided. Let’s stop being arrogant, provoking one another and envying one another. Galatians 5:22-23 ISV
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