Paul wrote these words to the believers in Rome, encouraging them with a list of goals to achieve. Things like truly loving each other with genuine – not pretend – love, hating what is wrong/evil, honoring each other, not being lazy, working hard, serving the Lord enthusiastically, and blessing those that curse them, among others.
In the midst of those instructions, Paul included REJOICE, be PATIENT, and keep on PRAYING.
If we read the words of this chapter as a letter to US, we might feel a bit convicted. As in, we’re not even thinking about these things as goals we should be striving for, much less striving. That’s OKAY! The Holy Spirit does that. He uses the Word to convict – never condemn! He does that so we will make the shift from the wilderness outside God’s will to the path of His will.
These folks to whom Paul wrote were living amid persecution, ridicule, and deceit. They were slandered, accused, and attacked. Paul knew they needed the confident hope that is Christ Jesus and His salvation. No better way to keep that alive than to celebrate it daily. What we care about we celebrate. That’s true even now. We should rejoice/celebrate in our confident hope every day, sometimes a lot during each day.
Our confident hope is that we walk with Christ in the heavenlies, among the angels who worship Him and other believers who have gone on ahead of us. Jesus never fails. REJOICE!
We should be patient in trouble? We should be steadfast in our faith when we are in trouble and facing tribulations. It is HARD when the fridge just died and the transmission went out on the car right after that diagnosis that could spell death. My goodness! How does one take one more step? By holding onto that faith in Christ. By realizing that He has not changed, that these troubles are just a thing. Maybe a painful, inconvenient thing, but still, just a thing.
Don’t get all upset. I’ve been in this situation, too, except the fridge didn’t go out, it just had no food in it and no money for any of the issues. This is when we hold up our shield of faith against the attacking enemy and remind him he has no authority over us. Sometimes, we feel like we’re curled up in a ball under that shield, and while that feels horrible, it’s okay to feel that way. As we hold on, patient and steadfast in our faith as He works things out, God sees and works out everything for our good and His glory. BE PATIENT!
Keep on praying. Some versions say be constant in prayer. But…. how can I be constantly praying if I’m living life? That’s impossible! Yep. You’re right. Instead, being constant in prayer means your heart is always turned toward Him. When another affliction or trouble comes, you immediately turn toward Him, when good things happen, you instantly praise Him. Your heart is praying even when your lips are still. KEEP ON PRAYING!
None of these things are easy, they weren’t for the Roman church either. But they ARE possible when we allow the Holy Spirit to reign in us. It’s strange to say when we want to be strong, we must surrender, but that is God’s upside-down, out-of-our-reach way. And that is okay.
Let’s give it a try today.
- Rejoice in the confident hope that is Jesus.
- Be patient in your trials, knowing that God is at work.
- Keep praying, letting your heart soar when your words can’t.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.
To view the video of this devotion and others, subscribe to my YouTube Channel.