Romans 15:13 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.
Imagine going into a coffee shop to have a cup of coffee and being told that they were all out of coffee – not just a particular flavor we wanted – but out of coffee. That would be strange if it happened once but suppose it happened again and it wasn’t because they were so popular that they sold out. We’d suspect they wouldn’t be in business long. Coffee shops are supposed to have coffee.
Now imagine going into a coffee shop and ordering coffee and they serve you but the coffee doesn’t taste good. We try different choices they have, but they all were unpleasant. Again, we’d think it strange and wonder how they were going to stay in business. We wouldn’t go back.
With these examples in mind, let’s consider today’s verse. There is such beauty contained in it. It talks of God’s people trusting in Him and being filled with joy and peace and hope. These are qualities that people long for and are very apparent when they’re present. From one perspective, we as Christians have the blessing and excitement of recognizing that this is the life God has for us. These are qualities that He wants us to have. But there is another side to this coin.
These are qualities that He expects us to develop in Him. They are required of us and not optional. We are the ‘coffee shop’ and theses qualities are the ‘coffee’. The world and those around us might not realize that they are asking for ‘coffee’ when they encounter us, but God has placed within them a hunger for this ‘coffee’ – real joy, real peace and real hope. They want someone or something they can truly trust in.
We are surrounded by people in all stages of coming to know our God. If these qualities are absent in us, or if they are ‘sour’, important opportunities are missed and negative perceptions result. But, when people are able to ‘taste’ these qualities in our lives, they are attracted to Him even though they might not know it (think salt making someone thirsty). They want more. God uses us to bring people to Himself.