“Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;” Romans 12.12
Recently I was visiting in one of our local hospitals and I encountered two patients in a row that were living life with no hope. I pondered the future of each patient and realized that short of divine intervention, they had no hope.
So when I read Paul’s words here, “Rejoicing in hope … ” he is addressing these words to believers and even in the midst of a hopeless situation (from man’s point of view) we can rejoice. Why? Because our loving heavenly Father is in control. I have had people tell me that what is believe is “pie in the sky” theology, meaning it is not real but a false dream. Let me say emphatically that “my hope” is real.
Now it gets tougher: “ … patient in tribulation … ” I’m sure you have heard some believer make a statement like this: “My favorite verse in the Bible is, ‘And it came to pass …’” Tribulation is like that – it comes for a season and then it passes. We find ourselves struggling with the “patient” part. Not being patient does not make it end any quicker. Quite the opposite is true. While we are “fretting” about how long this tribulation is lasting, there is no patience exercised, only frustration.
Finally we find the key to hope in EVERY situation: “ … continuing instant in prayer … ” The one thing that allows me to “rejoice in hope” and to be “patient in tribulation” is my willingness to “continue instant in prayer.” I believe that some would agree that the LAST thing we do about difficulty or tribulation is pray; but we all know in our heart of hearts that prayer is the FIRST thing we should do because we are talking to the only One who can make any difference at all.
I have heard it said many times that we are either entering into a crisis, or we are in the middle of a crisis, or we are just coming out of a crisis. In any one of these situation, our responsibility is to pray. Just my thoughts …