Romans 12:12 (NKJV)
12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer
I was just thinking the other day, how much we need hope. I know this is nothing new, and certainly not some kind of amazing revelation the Lord revealed to me through some sort of amazing spiritual experience. Think about it though, what do we actually need right now? We need hope, hope that we can rejoice in.
One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11 (11) For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope… It sums up so much we know about God. He knows His thoughts He has toward us. Sometimes we do not give ourselves enough credit. Think about it, the God of the universe, the Creator of all things loves us, knows us, and has thoughts about us and for us! Our hope cannot be in the earthly when there is so much more for us in the eternal!
If we are going to face tribulation, we must see the benefit. God is telling us that we must be patient through the tribulation, why? To better understand the reason and grow from it. I am a rather calculated person, I want to know the where, when, and why regarding all situations. James gives us the “why” when it comes to tribulation in James 1:2–4 (2) My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing… We face tribulation to strengthen our walk with the Lord. If we are honest, we have probably grown a lot more in tribulation than we ever have through blessings.
If we are going to rejoice in hope even through tribulation, we are going to have to be steadfast in prayer! If the Lord is our strength, He is our wisdom, He is our hope, we should be on our knees in steadfast faithfulness. It is important, however, that we do not take verses like Mark 11:24 out of context… (24) Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them… We are not to think of God as a personal genie. We must take 1 John 5:14 into consideration… (14) Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us… Pray according to His will and He will hear us! We must take the time to understand His will in order to pray effectively.
Romans 5:5 (NKJV)
5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.