When we end a phone call or a conversation, normally a benediction of sorts is offered. I hope you have a great week! Take care, and God bless you. Be safe, my friend. We wish those with whom we are speaking a good journey or blessings for a good day or evening. In scripture, Paul’s letters follow a specific format

The greeting opens the letter and is usually complimentary which is followed by a prayer of thanksgiving. The body of the letter addresses the topic or theme, includes general advice about Christian living, discusses the accomplishments of the community and pulls from and interprets Jesus’ teachings. The closing is one that includes the greetings and instructions to specific people and offers a final blessing. Even in worship, we end with a benediction. It is a chance for the officiant to cast out a blessing to all in attendance.

In Romans 5:13, Paul continues with his letter format. At the end is a powerful statement about what God can do in the heart and mind of every Christian. Paul calls upon the God of hope. God is the lasting source of hope we have for not only meaning in life, but in life after death. Paul is asking for the God of hope to fill these believers with joy and peace. He wants those who believe to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit.

Perhaps this benediction is a lesson for us all. When we are in times of despair, we need to find hope. When things are difficult, finding hope is not easy and it sometimes feels impossible. If we keep scriptures close to our hearts, maybe reading these words can offer hope, even when we feel hopeless.

I encourage you to read this scripture in a different way. Personalizing scripture can change the way you hear God’s word. “May the God of hope fill you, (insert your name), with all joy and peace in faith so that you overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

You may need to rely on these words when your heart is broken. Keep them close, personalize them, and remember that you are His Beloved.