January 2, 2020
Persevere in Prayer
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Romans 12:12”
Happy New Year Friends! It is already day two of the New Year. I pray that this year will be a God inspired one as we reach new heights with our walk with God.
Do you want to know how to live a Christian life? Of course you do! Romans 12 is a good place to start. The Apostle Paul writing to the Christians in Rome now switches his focus from the theological in chapters 1-11 to the practical ways of living one’s life as a Christian (chapter 12-16). In chapter 12 Paul urges us to present our bodies as living sacrifice to God and we do this through the short commands he gave in chapter 12. One of those commands is to “rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.”
Rejoicing in Hope
Why is it important to have hope in this world? We live in world filled with sin, chaos, hate and fear. In such a world for many there is no hope. There is no expectation of anything better. The problems of life are overbearing, people are generally self-centered, and at times there is no form of help. Our bodies are dwindling away and some might ask what is the purpose. In such a world there is need for hope and that hope lies in Jesus. The hope that Jesus will help us through this mortal world. The hope that we will be renewed and our bodies will change. The hope that Jesus has gone to prepare a better place for us. The hope that despite the challenges we face everything will be alright. This is the hope we rejoice in. The command to rejoice in hope is not a command to always be happy; it is a command to have the right perspective and attitude to the various situations we will encounter. In other words knowing that Jesus will help us with our various situations is cause for joy and that is what we should focus on.
Patient in Suffering
We all will experience suffering, pain and tribulation. There is no doubt that when we experience such moments, we are going through a difficult period in life. It is hard dealing with pain and the reality is that we all have human emotions and will be adversely affected by it. Paul doesn’t say to abort the pain we feel, for that is difficult to do, but what he says is to be patient during suffering. When we face suffering we try all we can to alleviate the pain and the suffering we are experiencing and sometimes our actions make the situation worse. Paul again asks us to switch our focus from dwelling on the situation to focusing on the glory to come. Romans 8:18 says, “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.” Paul highlights our choices- we can choose to focus on the suffering or we can choose to focus on the glory that is to come. Might I also add that God is an on time God!
Persevere in Prayer
It is not easy to rejoice in hope and be patient in suffering unless we keep praying. Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 puts it this way, “Pray without ceasing”. Prayer is crucial in our walk with God. It is the means by which we communicate with God. It is through our prayers that we possess the strength to do what God wants us to do as Christians. Without a meaningful and strong prayer life it is harder to be patient in suffering and rejoice in Hope.
As we embark on this new journey called 2020 let us Persevere in Prayer