We looked previous at the full joy and sustaining peace that come from God alone. We move on now to answer the question of how this joy and peace can be ours. It is, first of all, by prayer. This desirable prospect is what Paul was praying for. Prayer fetches spiritual joy and peace not only for ourselves but others.
It is acquired, to be more specific, by the prayer of faith—we are filled with all joy and peace “in believing.” Don’t fail to see the connection. True, substantial joy is the fruit of faith. This is what Peter said in his epistle: “Believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8). Our lack of joy and peace must be attributed to our weakness of faith. Often our misery is simply unbelief.
There is no genuine joy and peace except “in believing,” and in exact proportion to our faith will be our joy and peace. We often reverse the order. We do not believe until we have joy and peace. We often build our faith on our feelings rather than allowing our faith to produce our feelings. The more we trust Christ in every area of our lives the more joyous and peaceful we will become.
Paul says also that the hope of this joy and peace is “through the power of the Holy Ghost.” The more we are filled with joy and peace, the greater will be our hope. This hope is communicated to us “through the power of the Holy Ghost,” the communicator of our graces. Though it is the Christian’s duty to be filled with joy and peace in believing, yet it is only by the Spirit’s enablement that this can be realized. Duty then begins by looking to the Spirit of truth.
If you are hopeless, there may be many contributors, but two are certain: One, you have placed your hope in something other than God … and it has let you down. Or second, you may understand that Jesus conquered death, but you live as though He is still in the grave. All hopelessness is ultimately a denial of the resurrection.” —Ed Welch