What does it mean to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, [and] faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12 NIV)?
I didn’t know what the verse meant when I read it. I thought it was beautiful and something to keep in mind. Like words of encouragements we frame in our house hoping they’ll be a reminder when we are in a ditch, but they are decorations that we forget exists when things go south.
I’m not saying words of encouragements are a waste hanging on our walls. I’m saying, we use them like decorations but do not wear them. We do not keep them in our hearts.
To keep them in our hearts and wear them like an armor, we must learn to understand them first. What are their meanings? How are they supposed to help us?
I love this verse. It falls under the subtitle “Love in Action” in the New International Version Bible and teaches us how love looks like through actions. There are many great advice in this section but this verse, “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” stood out to me from the rest. After reading it a couple of times, I find that it can be applied to many areas of our lives.
In love, there will be conflicts, whether it is romantic love or relational love. So, when a conflict, or issue, arises in our lives, we must be patient and go to God. We must be faithful in our prayer to Him during this time. Pray to Him over and over and be patient when He does not answer you right away. Just keep praying. I know this can be rough. Trust me. When I’m in a crisis I always pray and give God a deadline and what I would do without His answer. That is not the way to handle it because I end up missing an opportunity for a blessing beyond my understanding. So be patient and faithful in your prayer to God.
Prayer is our speech to God declaring our hope in His work, in His help. We should be joyful in our prayer/hope to God. And yet, this can be so hard to achieve because you are either worrying, grieving, angry, or feeling some type of emotion that is hindering you from being joyful. How can you feel joy and happiness when you are not in a peaceful situation?
This really goes back to what we learned in church: pray and leave everything to God. That way we will feel peace, we will feel happiness because we TRUST that He will deliver on His promises.
It dwindles down to this, in the face of affliction, remain calm, patient, and pray to God faithfully on this even when you do not hear an answer. When you’re done praying, get up, sing His praises, be happy and trust that He heard your prayer and is working His miracles. This is how we should live out this piece of advice from Romans 4:12:12.
I know it’s not easy, but when has anything worth having easy? I know I don’t want just a quick fix, a Band-Aid over my wounds in the meantime, I want to clear up the situation, find healing for all parties involved and make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future.
How does this verse speak to you?