Powerful Words

Our world is broken. We are a broken people. Yet, God tells us to have faith, hope, and love.

 

How? How can we do this effectively when it seems like the enemy keeps getting the upper hand?

 

Romans 12:12 is the beginning of the answer,

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” NIV

 

Joyful in hope.

Patient in affliction.

Faithful in prayer.

 

These are three seemingly simple concepts, but very profound in what they do for us.

 

Joy. I have always been so intrigued with this spiritual concept. It is not a “don’t worry, be happy” idea, but rather a lasting and sustainable positivity because you know the outcome and you know who is in control. It is ever sustainable simply because of our trust in God. Period.

 

Proverbs 31:25 reads,

“She is clothed with strength and dignity;

she can laugh at the days to come.”

This noble woman whose worth is deemed far above rubies can laugh at the days to come because she knows who holds the days. The reason she can laugh at the future is stated in verse 30,

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
But a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

 

Patience. I have always heard “never pray for patience or you will regret it.” Yet, in Romans, Paul reminds us to be patient in affliction. The definition for affliction is pain or suffering.

 

Let me tell you, there is plenty of affliction going around these days. I’m not talking “bad hair days.” I’m talking shootings, hurricanes, flooding, loss, sickness, disability, etc. You get the picture.

 

The definition of patience is basically to endure and that which grows under trial, from the Vines Expository Dictionary.

 

So, we are to endure the pain and suffering and it will grow and develop while being tried.

 

Wow, this is pretty powerful.

 

This is a knowing and growing experience. Again, what is the reason we can endure and then grow in the experience, knowing God is ultimately in control.

 

Faithful. Believing. Trusting.

 

Prayer. How we communicate with God.

 

God wants more than anything to have a personal intimate daily relationship with Him. He wants us to trust Him fully and He communicates with us primarily through His word. He longs for us to spend time with Him.

Paul reminds us in Romans to be faithful in prayer, to take everything to Him. Our hopes as well as our fears.

 

The book of Romans is a book to encourage the early Christians in Rome to stay the course in the midst of Roman oppression and to learn to love each other. In this particular case, there are two distinct groups Paul addresses who are struggling with loving each other. The ones who have a Jewish background and the ones who have a Gentile background. This is not to be taken lightly.

 

It would be like a group of new Muslim Christians who have been converted and are eager to take their place in a congregation of “seasoned” American Christians.

 

It would be hard. It would be difficult. It would seem impossible.

 

Yet, in the very midst of this situation, Paul says,

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” NIV

These are powerful words. These are powerful concepts. These words change lives.

 

Know who holds the future, know who holds today, remember who held yesterday.
Be joyful, patient and faithful.

 

God’s got this!

Blessings!

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