In Romans 12 Paul is talking about different characteristics of the lives of those who truly follow Jesus. In verse 12 Paul goes on to say “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. There is some strong advice for people throughout all generations.
We know that there are going to be challenges in life. We know that things are going to happen that will confuse and possibly cause us to question our faith. Many people have become stronger when they fell into what is referred to as a “Crisis of Belief” or a Crisis of Faith.” This is defined by wikipedia as a deep and painful questioning, loss or transformation of belief. This term is commonly used in a religious faith context but has also been referred to when it comes to faith in humanity. We are going to look at this from the biblical perspective.
The phrase “Rejoice in hope..” that Paul used was important because of the things that were going on at that point in time. We can use that phrase today to help us stay strong and keep believing. The word Rejoice means to be glad, be well or thrive in. But what are we thriving in? We are to be thriving in hope. This Biblical definition is not the “I sure hope so” type doubt that we use it for today. When the Bible talks about hope, many times it is talking about expectation, trust and confidence and even faith. But where does that expectation, trust and confidence come from? It comes from a relationship with God. When I say that, I am talking about taking time in prayer and understanding His Word, The Bible.
There are so many people that have lost hope and fallen into a state of depression or hopelessness but we see in the Bible, in Hebrews 13:5-6 Amp, that we are reassured that God will never leave us hopeless, abandon us or even relax his hold on our lives. But now the question is more about whether we believe that God’s word is true or not.
I can tell you from personal experience that I have at time felt like situations were not getting better and they certainly could not get any worse. I was at the bottom of the proverbial barrel and the only way for it to get worse would be to be under the barrel. There will certainly be times when the emotions of a situation are so overwhelming that we just dont know what to do with them. As men, we may withdraw and default to being frustrated and angry. Women may react in a more emotional way and express that emotion more freely. To have that level emotion is not wrong, but what you do with it will determine your success or failure.
It is in these moments that I choose to hold on to God’s Word and trust and have confidence in the fact that He loved me so much that He sacrificed His own son so that I could walk in His blessings, mercy and grace. If God loves us that much, why would He relinquish His hold on us during a storm. He wont! But sometimes we give up on God.
I want to wrap up by saying, Rejoice, be glad and thrive in the hope, expectation and confidence that God will not let you go and He will work all things out for your good, even when it does not look like it. If you will run to Him in prayer and reading of His Word, then God will lead, guide and comfort you through the challenges of life.