"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." Romans 15:13 (ESV)
Christians are often admonished that we ought to live joyful, peaceful, and hopeful lives regardless of our circumstances. We know these qualities should characterize our lives, but if we are honest, each of us has experienced seasons in which joy seems impossible; when what we see says there is no reason to hope or to have peace. For those times, Paul's words are a clear source of encouragement. His words of blessing to the Romans make it clear that by the power of the Holy Spirit, it is God who gives these supernatural qualities to those who trust in Him. They are not ours to muster. What a relief to know we can rest in His provision at all times, and especially when we come up empty.