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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

Dear heavenly Father, your Word never ceases to astonish, nourish, and cause my heart to flourish. Today I’m reveling in the fact 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 nearly 1,200 in the Bible, you come to us this very day as . . .

     The God of endurance and encouragement. O Father, you know how much I need both of these grace gifts. I’m juggling the broken stories of several friends, and on top of that, I haven’t been sleeping well lately. There are some days, weeks, even months that get filled with needs far beyond my resources. Please grant me strength, Father, and encourage my tired soul.

     The God of hope. It’s an increasingly complex world, Father—one which feels more uncertain and fragile than ever. The horrible bombing event at the Boston marathon is a perfect example. Fill my heart with a vision of your finished story, Father. By the power of the gospel, help me to remember our glorious future into this present moment.

Quicken my senses with the sounds of the life we will eternally enjoy in new heaven and new earth (Rev. 21:1-22:5); waft the smells of that always-in-bloom Garden City towards me and give me a peak of the incomparable beauty of what it’s going to be like when Jesus finishes making all things new. May this living and sure hope give me courage to serve you without fear or hesitation, with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. Indeed, Father, I want to overflow with hope, not just be a slow drip.

     The God of peace. Father, you are the consummate peacemaker—reconciling enemies and restoring broken things. We only have peace with you because you have made your peace with us, through the work of Jesus. It’s not our doing, but Jesus’ “It is done” that has enveloped our lives in a peace which passes all understanding. 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. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ matchless and merciful name.


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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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