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Overflowing with Hope, Peace, Joy and Love!

“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” – Romans 15:13.

Advent is a period of waiting and anticipation, a time to contemplate the incarnation. What does it mean that God, the Creator of the universe, became man and dwelt among us? Immanuel: God with us. It’s too much glory to contain in a single day, and so the Christian tradition stretches that period of contemplation out across the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. Each week has a focus: Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. Scripture promises each of these gifts to those who believe in Jesus and follow him as Savior and Lord. Look at the Scripture above. He will “fill you with all joy and peace…so that you may overflow with hope.” That’s how I want to live my life. Filled up to overflowing – a fountain that splashes those around me with joy.

So why don’t I?

The Lie of Scarcity

I think at least one answer to that question is that I spend too much of my time believing lies. Lies that are proclaimed loudly by society in general and perpetuated by me as I dwell on my fears.

Society wants us to believe that there simply isn’t enough to go around, and we had better both lay claim to what’s rightfully ours and hold onto it tightly. Not enough money. Not enough food. Not enough jobs. Not enough love. And, occasionally, people offer evidence to support those claims. (Although, let’s be honest, most of the time, people are just blustering without any hard facts.) Someone is coming to take what’s yours; so get a death grip on it and don’t let go. Otherwise, you’ll end up alone, without a job, homeless, friendless.

Three coworkers organize gifts that were donated to clients.

But God says otherwise. God says if someone takes your shirt, let them have your coat, as well. God ordered ravens to feed Elijah and made the widow’s oil never run out. God multiplied the fish and the loaves. God filled fishing nets that had stayed empty all night long. God commands us to be hospitable, even when it doesn’t make sense. The widow was fixing her last meal and preparing to die when Elijah asked her to share the little she had. In the parable of the talents, the man who buries his talent in fear is scorned by the owner. The point of the story is that we need to take risks. Invest our lives, our talent, our money, our time. Not hold onto it in fear.

“A scarcity mindset is when you believe there are limited resources, so if someone else has something, you feel there is less of that resource available for you, says Tabitha Kirkland, a psychologist and associate teaching professor at the University of Washington’s Department of Psychology… An abundance mindset is when you believe there are plenty of resources for everyone.” (Right as Rain, UW Medicine website)

God says he owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He says he is in charge of the harvest. God covered the ground with manna daily for 40 years and sent more quail than the Israelites could eat. He says he clothes the lilies of the field in splendor, feeds the sparrow, and cares much more about you than either the lilies or the sparrows. He laid the foundations of the earth, gives orders to the morning and walks the depths of the sea. Nothing is impossible with him who loves us.

And yet, we act as though his resources are limited, as if someone gets a big piece of the pie, we will get less.

But that’s not what God says.

When I open my life to God, he promises to bless me with hope, peace, joy and love. I don't need to fear that there won't be enough. Click To Tweet

The Truth of Abundance

Consider the last two verses of Psalm 23:

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

He anoints my head with oil. My cup overflows. Goodness and love are chasing after me.

When I open my life to God, he promises to bless me with hope, peace, joy and love. I don’t need to fear that there won’t be enough.

I can afford to be generous because God has been generous with me.

I must be merciful because God has been merciful with me.

I can’t outgive God.

If you’re looking for ways to share the goodness that is overflowing from your life, check our Make an Impact page.

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