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Joyful in Hope

Joyful in Hope
Romans 12:12

Sometimes, it seems like things are just not going right. But we don’t have the big picture. In fact, we can’t have the big picture. So, what do we do when we don’t know what to do? What do we focus on when there’s so many concerns vying for our attention? How can we “keep it together” when it all seems to be unraveling?

One of the places God tells us “How” is in Romans Chapter 12. I encourage you to read the whole chapter today, but our focus verse for the day is Romans 12:12 (NIV).

Romans 12:12 (NIV)
12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.


Let’s slow down for a few minutes today, and let’s focus and have a meaningful time with God. Let’s pray to start.

Heavenly Father, we pray that you would speak to us today, through your Word, and by your Holy Spirit, Lord. God, speak to specific circumstances in our lives today, we pray, in your mighty name, Jesus, amen.
 
Let’s meditate on our verse today.

Romans 12:12 (NIV)
12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.


Romans 12 starts in verse 1 with an exhortation for us to offer all that we are to God as a living sacrifice. A sacrifice is something that is consumed for God’s glory. And that’s where we start to answer the questions, “What do we do?” “What do we focus on?” “How can we ‘keep it together?’”

The answers begin with an understanding and a firm commitment to offer all that we are for God’s glory as a living sacrifice.

So, how does that look? How does that work? How do we apply our verse today? Well, in the NIV, the title of this section is “Love In Action.” And in the section above this one in Romans 12, God is calling us to serve one another. So, as a living sacrifice, to bring glory to God, and to serve another with love in action, God calls us to be joyful in hope. To be patient in affliction. And to be faithful in prayer.
 
We can be joyful in the confident hope that we have today in Jesus Christ. We have hope for today and even more hope for eternity. Romans 5:2 (NLT) says we 2 … we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. It’s amazing that we’re called first to give God glory, and then in Christ we are guaranteed to share God’s glory? That’s an awesome hope that we have. And so, no matter what we feel about today’s circumstances, we can be joyful in the confident hope that we have in Christ.

And then, God calls us to be patient in affliction. Patient in difficulty. Patient in trials. Patient when we can’t see, and patient when we don’t know what lies ahead.

Hebrews 10:36 (NLT)
36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.

 
Patient in affliction – committed to being a living sacrifice, to bring God glory by our lives, by us having joyful hope, while being patient in our trials.

The strength to be patient in our trials comes from the Holy Spirit who lives inside of us. If you are born again today, you have the power and the Person of the Holy Spirit living inside you. And he is the one who gives us the confident hope that we have in God, and he is the one who gives us patient endurance in order to bring glory to God right in the middle of our own difficulties.

And finally, we are called to be faithful in prayer. Our difficulties can actually make us unfaithful in prayer, can’t they? We can begin to pray our will instead of God’s will. Faithful in prayer doesn’t mean that we continue to demand our own will in prayer. It means persevering in prayer in the faith we have in God. In the faith that God’s way is better than our way. In the faith that God’s will is better than our will. In the faith that God is at work in our situation. And faith that God will bring us through until that day that we have won this race and we are experiencing that “sharing in his glory.”

I think the most faithful prayer in the Bible is the prayer of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. “Abba, Father, if it is possible, please let this cup pass, please intervene here. But Lord, not my will, but thy will be done.”  Faithfully trusting our Abba, Father, that he is at work for our good and for his glory right in the midst of the difficulty that we are facing today.

Romans 12:12 (NIV)
12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.


As we have been going through this devotion, have you had in mind some part of your current life situation? Has the Holy Spirit brought up a circumstance or situation where this verse “rightly applies” to your life? An area where God is calling you to be more joyful in the hope you have in Christ? To be more patient in the trial you are thinking of today? To being more faithful in the true trust-in-God type prayer as God carries you through this trial?

Let’s pray a prayer of response to God, today, about these truths in our lives. You may want to continue to pray, or to communicate with God in a journal.

Heavenly Father, in this situation that is on my heart right now, in this matter that I am lifting up to you right now, may you fill me with your Holy Spirit, and may you make me joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. Lord, I commit today, to look more to the hope that is before me in you, Jesus, and to be more joyful in that hope than I am afraid of my circumstances.

I commit to you today to be patient in this trial. To persevere, to wait on you, Lord. And I pray, Lord, that you would please be my strength to wait, and be my wisdom to know when, or if, to act.
 
I commit today, to be more faithful in my prayer. Not just repeating my will to you, but praying out of a truly faithful heart of complete trust in you, my Abba, Father. I trust you, God. And I commit to let faith guide my prayers instead of fear.
 
Thank you, Lord, for speaking to me today through your Word, and by your Holy Spirit. It’s in your mighty name, I pray, Jesus, amen.

You can get more information, contact us, or support this ministry at MyDailyChurch.com. May you be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.