And hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
— Romans 5:5

Do you remember the day, as Randy Wade so beautifully said in this past Sunday’s sermon, that “God ushered your soul into his presence”? Nothing is more beautiful, more humbling, more hopeful, more joyful, more graceful, more merciful nor more peaceful than this moment of revelation that is God’s gift of love and hope for those who choose him. The rush of understanding, the sudden enlightenment, the call to action and the slow, steady gain of knowledge and relationship with Jesus Christ all come together and move forward in that moment. Suddenly we find the worldview that best explains this world in which we find ourselves living and how we were meant to respond to it.

Through the rush of the Holy Spirit, Christ is there to explain why our sins feel so wrong, no matter how right we want them to be. Suddenly we understand why justice matters so dearly, as there is a godly standard we were born to seek, yet reject so violently by rejecting him. And suddenly we see so clearly how miraculous the grace of God is, poured out through the blood of Jesus for those so unworthy.

In short, that ushering in of our souls to God is the ushering in of pure joy, the joy that is expressed through the filling of our hearts to overflowing with the love of God and the love for God. The joy that comes with the knowledge of truth through the gift of the Holy Spirit.

When times are hard and suffering is great, remember that joy. It’s still there. It remains with us. Tap into that hope.

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