Rejoice in our confident hope.
Be patient in trouble.
Keep on praying.
When God’s people are in need,
Be ready to help them.
None of us want to hear the admonition “be patient” when everything is coming up empty –
but the admonition issued by the apostle Paul is right here in Romans 12 for our benefit.
If you stop to consider a rewind of Paul’s trouble-filled ministry-life,
perhaps there was none other more qualified to speak on the subject of patience.
“How did Paul find patience and put it into practice when he needed patience most?”
We know of 3 paths (perhaps among many) he chose for sure:
Path #1 – LOOK AHEAD: Focus on the end game – our hope
and never got tangled up in trying to make heaven happen on earth.
Your chapter today may be tough, but the book ends well for those who have put their trust in Christ.
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man
the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (2 Cor. 2:9)
Path #2 – KEEP ON PRAYING: Reject trying hard and move towards trusting hard
Paul took a radically different tack . . “For me to live is Christ ..” (Phil. 1:21)
and found His indwelling Savior as anchor-point for his soul to be a far superior choice
to a prayer-less self-led, faith-famished life.
“Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” (Eph. 6:10)
Path #3 – LOOK AROUND: Patience is not passive but purposeful
but rather incessantly saw trouble and hardship as opportunity
to fulfill our highest calling in Christ, to serve others . . how else could he have arrived
at a Romans 12 kind of faith that chose to be “a living sacrifice” . .
“never lacking in zeal – serving the Lord” . . “practicing hospitality”?
Paul’s exhortation to the Roman believers serves as reminder to all of us
that testing and adversity are part of the fabric of the Christian life.
Perhaps there is nothing more authenticating about our faith and energizing to our perseverance
than choosing to make room for others (especially our brothers and sisters in Christ)
who are in profound need.
If you are tempted to rehearse the old spiritual “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen” . .
think again, you are far from alone – you are on the most frequent-traveled path in the Kingdom . .
a trail that was first blazed by our Savior who offers all the grace we need to keep going . .
on our day of trouble.
My Life Prayer
“Lord, you are my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in You!
You are good to those who depend on You, to those who search for You.
So it is good to wait quietly for Your salvation. Amen”
– Lamentations 3:24-26
How is God encouraging you today?