Be Joyful in Hope
Romans 12:9-21 is a great collection of short statements on victorious Christian living. Take Romans 12:12 for example. It says: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Let’s just briefly consider each of these powerful phrases.
Be joyful in hope. Hope for the Christian is not just wishful thinking; it’s bedrock confidence in the power of God to make good on his promises. It is being certain of what we have not yet experienced. The most important hope we have is the hope of resurrection, the evidence of which is Christ’s resurrection from the dead, the first fruits of all who believe. The promise of scripture, and the hope for those who put their faith in Christ, is that we will step through death into life eternal with our savior and Lord. We can hold that hope with bedrock confidence.
Be patient in affliction. God doesn’t promise that our lives will be problem free, but in our afflictions he promises to be with us and to work for our good. A great example is Naomi, the mother-in-law of Ruth. Despite multiple and difficult afflictions, Naomi patiently followed God and her obedience becomes part of God’s plan of redemption for her family and for all who come to him by faith. I encourage you to read her story in the book of Ruth in the Old Testament. You can read the entire story in just a few minutes.
Be faithful in prayer. The bottom line is that we are to pray. We are to pray regardless of our emotions or circumstances. Faithfulness in prayer pleases God and helps to keep us grounded in the storms of life. The message here is that prayer is a discipline and a lifestyle that continues faithfully through the highs and lows of life. Prayer sustains us through the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives and it equips us to take the next step in faith. Prayer brings us into fellowship with God.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Simple, but powerful advice!
Having begun as a guest speaker in 2005, Dan was appointed Interim Pastor in 2008 and has been serving Maple Root Baptist ever since. As a small group leader and Chaplin for the Connecticut Tigers, Dan has a heart for the lost and the God that saves them.