Look Forward Confidently
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” —Romans 12:12
Some have suggested that in this week’s verse we have a description of the Christian life. Take a moment and break it down—see if the shoe fits.
“Joyful in hope.” It can be very difficult to be joyful in what we see around us. Hope is different. Hope calls us forward, beyond what we see…in spite of what we see.
If God is our hope then hope is well founded. He is unchanging, unwavering, unalterable. His promises to believers are all “yea” and “amen” in Jesus Christ. Instead of looking forward in uncertainty, we look forward confidently, in joy.
“No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame” (Psalm 25:3).
“Patient in affliction.” Affliction doesn’t sound good. Patience in affliction sounds even worse. If we’re honest, we want out of stressful situations. Quickly.
But God doesn’t promise to remove afflictions from us or keep us from them. Rather, He promises never to leave us nor forsake us. He promises to use all things for good for those who love Him.
The hope we mentioned—holding fast to God, for He is our hope—becomes the source of patience. We can look at affliction differently, realizing God is accomplishing something within us.
“See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction” (Isaiah 48:10).
“Faithful in prayer.” Faithful means consistent. Prayer is communication between you and God—the conduit of hope, joy, and patience. Prayer is the difference between going it alone and going it in the power and presence of your God.
Your Heavenly Father invites you into His lap, lends you His ear, and showers you with assurances of His love.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7).
Meditating on this verse this week, how might it impact your life? Your many roles and responsibilities? Others around you?
My prayer for this week:
Father God, thank you for Jesus Christ who saved me. Thank you for the presence of your Holy Spirit who guides me each day. Thank you for the depiction of the Christian life in this passage—please use it this week to encourage me, to become joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.