Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12 (NIV)
On my own I can be none of these things. What things? I cannot be joyful in hope, patient in affliction or faithful in prayer. Why do you say that? On my own I have been the opposite of each of these. I have been unhappy in discouragement. I have been impatient in affliction. I have been unfaithful in prayer. So, your track record tells you that you will need my help and strength and endurance to be all these things. That’s right. Do you feel like you are on your own? Do you believe that I will be with you to help you? Do you know that I am molding and shaping your life? Do you know that I will make you into the person that I have called you to be? I know that I am not alone. I believe that you are molding and shaping my life. That’s good.
Are you encouraged to know that I am working in your life? Can you have hope and joy in knowing that I am like an artist molding and shaping you and making you into one of my masterpieces? Do you trust my work? Do you trust my skill? Do you trust my hand? Can you rely on my timing? Yes, I trust you. I can have hope and joy, knowing that I am the work of your hands. That’s good.
You know that you will experience pain and suffering and affliction in this life. I suffered, you will suffer. I felt pain, you will feel pain. I was afflicted, you will be afflicted. Does any of this surprise you? No, it does not. You also know when you have grown the most in life. You also know when you have drawn near and grown closest to me. Yes, I do. When is that? When have you made the most progress in your life? When have you drawn nearest to me? Both, have happened when I have gone through pain and suffering and affliction in life. That’s right. Can you then, be patient in pain and suffering and affliction? Yes Lord, I can be patient. That’s good.
You mentioned to me that you will need my help and strength and endurance. Yes, I did. How will you go about receiving help and strength and endurance from me? I’m not sure what you mean. What must you do if you want to receive strength and hope and endurance from me? I must ask you for these things if I want to receive them. Will your prayers for these things be one and done prayers of yours? No, I will continually come to ask you for all that I need. Will you be faithful in prayer? Yes, I will be faithful in prayer. That will be very good.
Lord, I will keep on following you. I will be completely devoted to you. I will follow you to wherever you lead. I will do whatever you ask of me. With all your help and strength, I will be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer. I will rely on you. Amen
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