A few years ago, my Sister-In-Law gave me a beautiful postcard that I have kept in my kitchen ever since. It has a picture of a big, bright sunflower and the words found in Romans 12:12, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.”
These words have been a source of strength to me over the years as I have read them. It recently occurred to me, however, that perhaps I have become so familiar with these words that I am letting them wash over me, rather than allowing them to really sink in. Come swim with me, will you?
“Be joyful in hope….”
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. ~Romans 15:13
For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. ~Galatians 5:5
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. ~Colossians 1:27
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. ~Hebrews 10:23
Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. ~1 Peter 1:13
When we focus on the verses above, how can we have anything other than hope?
“Patient in affliction…”
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory…” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NKJV)
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. ~Psalm 34:19 (NKJV)
And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. ~Hebrews 6:11-12 (ESV)
Patience is about waiting on God’s will for our lives, rather than insisting on our own.
“Faithful in prayer…”
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)
“…pray without ceasing…” `1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NKJV)
“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving…” ~Colossians 4:2 (NKJV)
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the hope we have in You, and the joy that it brings to our lives. We know that patience is a fruit of Your Holy Spirit and we ask that we would allow Him do His perfect work in us every moment of every day. Thank You that because of the work of Jesus on the precious cross, we can boldly approach the throne of grace and come to You with unrestricted access. Let us never take that for granted as we commune with you continually. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
*All Scripture verses are New International Version, unless otherwise noted.