22 Mar 2020

Hope , Affliction & Prayer

Romans 12:12

12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Hope, Affliction and Prayer

Paul the author, is writing this letter to the people of Rome, predominantly Gentile.

Most likely the place where it is written is Corinth.

Themes that emerge from this book are (a)Basic Gospel (b)God’s plan of salvation, (c)Jew and Gentile alike.

Let’s look at the specific verse in Romans 12:12

12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

He wants us to be rejoicing in Hope and be patient when we face tribulation and be constant / or be faithful in prayer.

Let us divide the verse in 3 parts, and see what God is speaking to us this day.

  1. Be Joyful in Hope

Romans 5:2-5

Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

There are people who are so optimistic , confident of future or success.(We know so many of them , our friends ..They are positive thinkers) In contrary to that, when we look at the bible, it is the blessed assurance of our future destiny and is based on God’s love, which is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit and objectively demonstrated to us in the death of Christ.

When we first believed in Christ, the holy spirit poured out his love in our hearts and his love for us continues to dwell in us.

And this morning we carry that Love and it dwells within us. Therefore, we need to be confident, secured and be joyful, in this Hope that his LOVE will not put us to shame.

 

1 PETER 1:3-9

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Though we have not seen him, we love him and believe in him. We have this Joy in our heart. God has given us inheritance that can never perish. Can we say Amen.

So, we should be joyful of this hope because, his love dwells in us and we will have an inheritance that will never perish.

 

  1. Patient in Affliction

 

John 16:33

 

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

 

Matthew 10:22

22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved

 

We need to stand firm when we face challenges / loss. It should not be a surprise to us that why we are facing tribulation. Jesus said we will face challenges; we will have trouble. We will face those challenges which no one has ever faced.

Enduring triumphantly is necessary for us.

 

  1. Faithful in Prayer

One must not only pray in hard times, but also always maintain communion with God through prayer .

Luke 18- 1:8

18 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give upHe said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

In verse 1 Jesus was teaching his disciples, that they should always pray and not give up. God will hear our prayers, who cry out to him.

Now what are the challenges which we face in our regular routine which doesn’t allow us to be Joyful in Hope, to be Patient in tribulation and constant in our prayer lives?

  1. Breakdown in relationship with God: How this happens? It is because of our sinful nature. God speaks to us about his Love but we don’t care about it, however, he pursues us each and every day, even though we may have gone far away from him.
  2. When things are stretched out of limit, we slowly start losing the Joy and Patience. We end up with no prayer life. And Who doesn’t want to be happy, we all want to be happy. Are we going to be happy when we lose a Job, lose something which is important? It depends upon circumstances or Lack of faith.

When we look at the life of JESUS , He knew what he’s going to do, it’s not an end.

I need to ask myself regarding verse 12, “Do these three phrases describe me? Is my life full of joy in hope? Do I joyfully persevere in tribulation? Am I devoted to prayer?” To the extent that you and I fall short of these qualities, we need to grow!

Virjil Selvan is Pastoring the New Hope Community. The New Hope Community is situated in the heart of the city between Old and New Panvel. We can confidently share that New Hope Community is a Church in Kamothe, Church in Khandeshwar, Church in Khanda Colony, Church in Panvel, Church in New Panvel because we are centrally located and these places surround our church Venue.

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