Joy, Patience, and Prayer

Day 20 - April 14 / Elder Ian Bitler

Romans 12:12

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”

It's really a simple instruction, yet in practice it might be one of the hardest commandments we are given in the Bible. "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer."

The dictionary defines hope as, “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.”  I don’t know about you, but I often struggle finding joy simply in the feeling that things will turn out for the best.  It is certainly easier to find joy once you have gotten what you wanted, but God is very clear that we need to rejoice even before we have the prize.

These words are a classic case of “easier said than done”, however Paul did much more than just say these words, he lived them over and over again.  Paul’s life was filled with anticipation of something better, but he provided us an example of how to rejoice, be patient, and in prayer through each trial he faced (2 Cor 11:24-29; Acts 16:25).  We must do the same in our trails, whether it be sickness, loneliness, isolation, anxiety, fear, or anything else that attempts to divert our focus from our God.  

But even Paul didn’t do it alone, even one of the greatest Christians that ever lived was not able to fulfill this instruction without help. God knew we would struggle to find joy while we are waiting, He knew we would battle to be patient while in pain, and He knew that we would not have the ability to remain constant in prayer,  so He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within us (Rom 15:13; Gal 5:22).  Through the power of God Himself in the form of the Holy Spirit He has given us love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.  How cool is that?

Spend some time in prayer today, asking our God to reveal to you the fruits that He has promised to make evident in your life.  Meditate on 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ for you."
Prayer Points:
  • Thank God for sending his Son to die on the cross
  • Thank God for sending the Holy Spirit to dwell within you
  • Ask God to show you how to exercise the Fruit of Spirit
  • Ask God to help you trust fully in His power and promises
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