In the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord repeatedly says His word is “sharper than a two-edged sword.” This simile is never more apt than when a seemingly random verse of scripture speaks directly to your heart in a time of need. This happened to me recently with Romans 15:13:
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
In these encounters, timing is key. I’d like to think I’ve read this verse before; maybe multiple times. And hope from God is certainly not a new concept. But because of a recent experiences, it was revelatory. Long familiar truths, when we need them most, can strike with such power and brilliance that it seems they must’ve been placed in the scriptures just yesterday, just for us to stumble upon.
The backstory: I was recently talking to a friend; a wonderful and successful individual who made a series of mistakes that have now jeopardized the most important things in his life. My heart broke when he said he had no hope that life could be salvaged. I felt the Spirit as I testified of the hope I felt and plead with him to lean on mine as he sought hope himself. But in the end it felt so inadequate. How sad the thought of anyone, ever, feeling hopeless!
It was with these thoughts of hope swirling in my heart and mind that a seminary student shared Romans 15:13 at the beginning of class the next day. The God of Hope! The scriptures are full of names and titles for God, but right there, right then, he was, above all else, The God of Hope. I thought in that moment, "The God of Hope is exactly who my friend needs. God is always exactly who we all need!"
I went to LDS.org feeling like I was the first one to notice that Paul called God The God of Hope. As is always the case when I think I’ve found something new, I found one of the Lord's chosen vessels has been there already. Know someone in need of hope? Try sharing Romans 15:13 and one of these talks on the subject. (May I personally recommend any of the three by Neal A. Maxwell?)
Thanks for reading!