Rejoicing Amidst Challenges


Romans 12:12 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” (ESV)

In a mere 11 words, Paul gives three instructions to the Romans in the midst of challenges that they face in their walk with Christ. Romans 12 marks a shift for Paul as he moves from the doctrines he espouses in the first eleven chapters to practical outcomes of those principles.

Rejoicing in hope can be difficult because hope is no guarantee. We usually rejoice and give thanks for a tangible blessing in our lives, but when all we are given is a sliver of hope with no assurance of fulfillment, we must remember that hope alone is enough to rejoice in.

Patience in tribulation is tough, but Paul himself was an excellent example of this instruction when he continued to sing praises to God while suffering in prison as seen in Acts 16. The book of James likewise encourages us to persevere through trials which ultimately results in maturity (James 1:4-5).

Being constant in prayer is not simply a calling to pray regularly before every meal or right before you sleep. Prayer in its most basic form is talking to God and when we are called to be constant in prayer we are called to submit every thought, every want, every need, and every sin to him without hesitation (cf. 1 Thess 5:17). He should be the first person we talk to whenever and wherever.

Have we made these three our faithful companions in our daily journey as followers of Christ?

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