The beautiful highway one in California runs just outside my office. You can take it just north of Santa Barbara all the way up to San Francisco, and it will weave you along some of the most beautiful
“Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.”
I am always amazed at how Paul can squeeze so much truth and spiritual goodness in such a short sentence. Chapter 12 of Romans is one of those chapters you could do a whole devotion on (maybe I will). If you didn’t know, Paul wrote this to a church he hadn’t met yet. There was this growing church that likely started with someone getting saved at Pentecost and then going back home and telling people about it. This letter is the basic instructions for the new believer there.
Filled with Hope
This verse starts with “Rejoice in hope.” We should find hope in our salvation through Jesus. We have this hope that tells us we will be with eternity and that this decaying body will be replaced with a heavenly one. They key to this stanza is the word rejoice. It means to give back the joy in your heart. You don’t return like you would a gift you didn’t like, but instead, you thank and praise God for the hope in you. You also give it to those who don’t have the joy by sharing the gospel and love of Jesus with them.
Patient thru Trials
Next, we are to be patient in affliction. Patience has to be on the list of least favorite words nowadays. In a world where we get everything instantly, it is hard to persevere when they don’t. It’s even tougher when that patience needs happen because of affliction. How do we walk daily with Christ when we are going through a health issue? How do we stand firm when someone is persecuting me. It is through the fruit of Patience the Holy Spirit puts in us.
Finally, we need to be persistent in prayer. Paul often leaves the key to everything until the very end of his passages. Here he gives us the key to our hope and our patience; it comes through persistent prayer. Day in and day out we are coming to the throne of God asking him to fill us with hope and perseverance. We also go to him for all of our struggles and questions. It is amazing how God answers those requests.