Hope, Patience and Prayer
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (Romans 12:12)
In difficult times, we wonder how it’s possible to remain hopeful, patient and in prayer. Our minds become distracted with the situation at hand and soon worry fills our minds as we watch the situation seem to become more problematic in time. Fear can lead to anxiety and uncontrolled emotions, and eventually, despair . This is a place God does not want us to be in.
In the Bible, hope means a joyful and confident expectation of good. This means that no matter what is happening around us, we can expect God to use it for good, though it may seem bad at the moment. Romans 8:28 confirms this:
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
How do we rejoice in hope? We declare that we trust God has our best interest in mind and that our hope is in Him. Jeremiah 29:11-13 confirms this:
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. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
Sometimes the good that comes out of bad situations is what we see in verses 12-13…people begin turning to God. They seek Him, pray to Him and find Him during some of life’s most difficult moments.
We then must be patient and wait upon the Lord to rescue us. This can be difficult for many people to do. We are used to taking the reigns and fixing things ourselves. When we can’t, we become scared and anxious. This right here proves we are powerless because now we must face the unknown such as not knowing when the problem will be resolved, when we will be healed, where our next meal will come from or how we will pay our next bill. Yet Christ tells us the following in Luke 12:29-30:
29 “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things.
This right here should lift a big weight off our shoulders. God knows what we need at all times. He knows our situation, fears, and our concerns, BUT this will require us to be patient, something we aren’t always good at. To be patient means we must persevere, to hold fast, to endure and bear bravely. God will not always pull us out of our situation, but He will walk through it with us providing direction, comfort, peace, and strength. Isaiah 40:28-31 provides us the comfort of knowing God will strengthen us during these times:
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
While we wait patiently in joyful hope for the Lord’s help, we must be in constant prayer. To pray simply means to speak to God. We bring to Him our concerns for ourselves and others. We thank Him for what He’s done or given to us. In other words, we have a relationship with Him just as we do with others which requires us talking Him just as we would with anyone else. Prayers do not have to be long and drawn out. They just have to be from the heart. God wants to hear from you in both good times and bad. This is why He created us…to have a relationship with us. We must make time each day, just as we would with our family and friends, to reach out to God and talk to Him, worship and praise Him, and let Him know we love Him. This is how we get to know Him, simply by giving Him some of our time. A relationship isn’t one sided but requires two people to act.
No matter what is happening in your life, when you have a close relationship with Jesus, you can be comforted in knowing that He will always be there with you, guiding you through it and bringing you the peace and comfort you need to endure until it’s over. It’s normal to have worries and concerns, but when you bring them to the Lord, He will bring you peace within the storm.