May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus. Rom. 15:5
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. Rom. 15:13
May the God of peace be with you all. Amen. Rom. 15:33
Gracious Father, your Word never ceases to astonish, nourish, and cause our hearts to flourish. Today I'm reveling in the fact that you want to be known better---that you delight to be known, and I'm rejoicing in who you reveal yourself to be. In this one chapter alone (Romans 15), out of 1169 in the Bible, you come to us this very day as . . .
The God of endurance and encouragement. Father, I crave both of these grace gifts---these kisses from heaven. I've been spread quite thin of late, and on top of that, I haven't been sleeping deep enough or long enough. It'd be great if broken stories and critical needs could be spread out a little more evenly in life, but that's just not going to happen. Grant me strength to care and to serve others, and encourage my heart with enough grace not to become resentful of needs or avoidant of people you're sending me.
The God of hope. In an increasingly complex world, which feels more uncertain and fragile than ever, remind me and enthrall me with the ending of the story you are writing (Rev. 21:1-22:6). Indeed, Father, I want to overflow with hope, not just be a slow drip. I know you're in control. I know you're working in all things for your glory and for our good, but quicken my senses a bit; stoke the flames of my excitement; remind me it's going to be so much better than we can hope or imagine.
I want to smell the aroma of the New Jerusalem and envision the shade of the Tree of Life. I want to hear the sonic splendor of your pan-national family singing the wonders of a redemption accomplished and applied. I want to feel in my bones the hope of no more death, crying, fear, pain, meanness or badness, hunger or thirst... better by far... better by FAR, that Day will be. Our labors in the Lord are not in vain. Our labors in You are tiny gospel seeds that will yield a harvest of eternal righteousness and joy. O very, very Hallelujah!
The God of peace. Father, you are the consummate peacemaker---reconciling enemies and restoring broken things. The only reason I have peace with you is because you've made your peace with me, through the work of Jesus. The enmity is gone. The hostility is over. There's no nervous anxiety in heaven---no consternation or reaching for Plan B. Glory, glory, glory!
May this profound assurance free me today to live as a conduit of your shalom-making love and power. To know that you are with me and for me will be enough for these next 24 hours. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus' present and powerful name.