Note from Randy: If all Desiring God Ministries had done for us was to get John Piper’s books out to readers, that would be more than enough. If all it had done was to give us my favorite podcast Ask Pastor John, that would be enough. If all it had done was to get into our hands and eyes the magnificent Look at the Book series that probes into Scripture and models how to do careful and insightful personal Bible study and faithful interpretation of God’s Word, that would be enough. If all they had done was give us a remarkable array of online articles from a variety of young and middle aged and older Christ-following men and women, that would be enough.
But Desiring God does all this and much more, reaching across the globe to bring glory to our Lord and Savior. Nanci and I and Eternal Perspective Ministries have supported Desiring God for many years, and it’s one of those ministries we really believe in. It’s making an eternal and Christ-honoring difference in the lives of people around the world. I encourage you to support this vital ministry.
By John Piper
Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4)
How can we be filled with the Holy Spirit? How can we experience an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon our church and ourselves that fills us with indomitable joy and frees us, and empowers us, to love those around us in ways so authentic that they are won to Christ?
Answer: Meditate day and night upon the incomparable, hope-giving promises of God. As Romans 15:4 shows us, that’s the way Paul kept his heart full of hope and joy and love. “Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
The full assurance of hope comes from meditating on the promises of God’s word. And this does not contradict the sentence nine verses later that says that the Holy Spirit gives us hope (Romans 15:13). This is because the Holy Spirit is the divine author of Scripture. His word is the means of his work. It is no contradiction that the way he fills us with hope is by filling us with his own word of promise.
Hope is not some vague emotion that comes out of nowhere, like a stomachache. Hope is the confidence that the stupendous future promised to us by the word of the Spirit is going to really come true. Therefore, the way to be filled with the Spirit is to be filled with his word. The way to have the power of the Spirit is to believe the promises of his word.
For it is the word of promise that fills us with hope, and hope fills us with joy, and joy overflows in the power and freedom to love our neighbor. And that is the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
For further study:
Here is an entire message by John Piper that gets into the filling of the Spirit much more than this small excerpt.
These brief resources from Got Questions? are also helpful:
Article by John Piper. © Desiring God Foundation. Source: desiringGod.org