Rachel and I would like to thank you for praying for our prodigals and for revival. Prayer is an admission that we cannot do it alone. When we reach out to God in the name of Jesus, it is a declaration of His ability to do what we cannot do. The encouragement of Jesus in Luke 18 was, “They should always pray, and never give up.”
While we pray, I would like to encourage our hearts with a few verses from God’s Word. The word “overflow” is used fourteen times in the NLT Version of the Bible. There are three of these that I would like to share with you today:
In John 15, Jesus was talking to His disciples about the importance of staying close to Him for effective fruit bearing. He then said, “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow” (Jn15:11). Notice how He says that His joy will fill us and our joy will overflow. The more His joy fills us the more our joy will abound. As we enjoy the fullness of divine life flowing into our lives like nutrients flowing from the vine to the branches, our lives will overflow with His joy. Jesus promised it!
The joy Jesus talked about was not from favorable, easy, pleasant conditions. It comes from knowing the heart of God and realizing that He has our best interests at heart. The joy of Jesus is a prerequisite for a thankful spirit. Paul says, “Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness” (Col 2:7).
Have you ever noticed how much you complain? I have done more than my fair share! Complaining is the result of a disquieted spirit over what God allows. But as our faith grows stronger and our vision of what God is doing in us grows clearer, our hearts and tongues will become more thankful. God’s command for us to be thankful in the hard times does not flow from a vindictive nature or a warped sense of humor, but rather a heart of true love for us His people. God is not calling us to deny our difficulties but to recognize His presence with us in them and to be thankful.
There are more times than not when life is downright difficult and instead of being thankful we may lose hope that God is working. Paul said to the Roman Christians who were under heavy persecution, “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom 15:13). When the circumstances of life bring us down and cause our spirits to fail we need to let the Holy Spirit work. God’s Spirit within us will produce confident hope: hope that good will come out of the bad, hope that God can redeem what has been lost, hope that in the end, we will be victorious in Him, hope that we will see the One who loves us!
Overflow with joy! Overflow with thankfulness! Overflow with hope! May it be our triple portion as we pray today.
Thanks in Him,
Bryan and Rachel