Romans 15:13, “… may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, …”
Feelings are good and can be bad some times. If we based our salvation on feelings then we are in trouble, because there are times you may feel you are not saved or feel God. If we are to feel God to know He is present then we still lack understanding that God is ever present. The one thing many ask in their difficult times “how come I don’t feel God in my situation?”. This is the whole reason why we can live a defeated life if our whole experience is based on feelings.
One evening as recorded in in Mark 39:35 onwards, Jesus tells the disciples to cross with Him to the other side. He had been teaching the multitudes most likely along the lines “faith”. The bible says, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God“, faith learnt in class room yet to be mastered in the sea of life. Some of the teachings were not new to them, they listened to the Master teach many times on such subjects. To cross to the other side required a means of boat. And the bible says, in the midst of their sailing Vs. 37, “…that a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow”. In their sailing, they faced a situation that challenged and threatened their faith. Everything was okay when they left, Jesus was present with them but when the situation arose, Jesus was nowhere to be found. He was at the bottom of the boat peacefully sleeping. Imagine the boat beginning to fill with water as the bible mentions it, who would have been first to be affected by the water? Jesus definately. While in this tough situation, they tried to steady the boat on their own but failed, they began to get hysterical and everything they had learned in class was out the window. One thing they were lacking was PEACE and because they lacked PEACE, they could not have JOY.
I tie this story to Romans 15:13, “… may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in BELIEVING. Mark that it’s not saying “to be filled with joy and peace in FEELING”. There are times feelings will fail you. Through His teachings, Jesus was filling them with hope that it might produce peace and joy in every tough time they would face in life. This might have been a little test to see if they could put into practice what they learnt. The disciples should have been filled with peace and joy in believing that the presence of Jesus on the boat was enough to make them sail through the windstorm. Just knowing that even if He was a sleep, even if they could not feel His presence in the middle of the windstorm, knowing that He was somewhere within the boat was enough to produce peace and joy.
You might say, “how would that happen?”, well if Jesus was in this boat that was being rocked by the wind, water filling the boat and He was peaceful, don’t you think that should have filled them with peace and joy? If anything, do you think Jesus who is 100% God could have drowned??. What about you in your boat sailing in this sea of life, facing windstorm, you are loosing your peace and joy because you might have based everything on feelings , don’t you believe that God of hope can fill you with His peace and joy in believing that He is ever present in your boat? That as long as He lives inside of you you cannot drown because He can’t drown? 1 John 4:4, says, ” You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world”. This verse alone gives me peace and joy knowing that He is greater in me than the challenge (storm) before me. I can ride through the storm believing that He is present. If I don’t feel Him, that is still ok for I know He did not leave me. I can smile in the midst of the storm because His peace surpasses all understanding and his joy is unspeakable in me full of His glory. I can make it not because everything is in place but because 2 Timothy 1:12, “…I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day”. My heart, peace, be still, He is in the boat!! Blessings, Ev