“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12
Joyful, according to the online dictionary, is “feeling, expressing, or causing great pleasure and happiness.” Imagine some of your toughest circumstances you’ve faced or are facing. Paul tells us to be joyful in hope; joyful in the FACT that God is the God of our circumstances and we can have hope in the future. It is not just knowing that things will get better, but a “feeling that causes great pleasure and happiness.” One day we will be with God in heaven and that is the hope we have through our faith in Jesus Christ.
- “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Romans 5:5
- “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this, you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:3-9
The online dictionary’s definition of patient is “able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.” Now there is a challenge. When is the last time you were patient when things weren’t going your way; especially over a long period? Is it possible that God is using those circumstances to refine you? It is easy to say we will be patient in all things, but when we are going through the winds of a challenge it is much harder to not be annoyed or anxious. As Christians, it is inevitable that we will face affliction.
- “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33b
- “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” 2 Timothy 3:12
And finally, faithful according to the online dictionary is to be “loyal, constant, and steadfast.” Paul tells us to be faithful in prayer – “loyal, constant and steadfast.” We shouldn’t only pray during difficult times, but be constant prayer; constant/steadfast relationship with God.
- “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: ‘In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God not cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, “Grant me justice against my adversary.” For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, “Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!” And the Lord said, ‘Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him say and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?’” Luke 18:1-8
- “Pray continually.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Are you being joyful, patient and faithful in your circumstances? We have hope in a future with God, despite any affliction, we may experience. Be faithful in your relationship with God because there is absolutely nothing that can separate us from his love which we find in his one and only Son, Jesus!