“…rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer…”Romans 12:12
I’m not going to lie, I have not been doing any of those things. I am seriously lacking. In fact, I am lacking in my walk with Christ completely. I have not forgotten Him, but I have not been dedicated to Him; I have successfully been distracted.
I’m not sure how many of you are dealing with this as well, but there are many distractions in place right now, both for the body of Christ and those who are not. There are always distractions to keep us from looking at our God. Now is a time like no other, and the powers that be are working over time to make sure that we are not focused on the redemptive, and faithful power of the Lord Jesus, and God our Father.
Rejoicing in hope.
It can truly be so difficult to rejoice, especially in times like these where we are mandatorily locked away from the fellowship that we so desperately need. But to rejoice in times of hardship gives you strength. It screams in the spiritual that you will not be brought under the power of despair. That you are not captive to your thoughts or feelings, but rather the Holy Spirit has the reigns.
Persevering in tribulation.
This goes hand in hand with rejoicing. To perservere means to “continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success.” To continue to worship and trust God while you so desperately want to question Him, and His plan, because we know that He is and will be successful. Our tribulations in this world will unfortunately be with us until our departure, but Jesus gives us comfort saying:
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”John 16:33
Devoted to prayer.
Surely this is the most important aspect of our relationship with God; communication.
To “know” someone as they speak of in the bible is the most intimate form of knowing someone. To know someone you have to nurture a relationship, you have to have open, vulnerable communication. You have to develop trust, and a deep love for one another. This is accomplished through prayer. Jesus has opened that line of communication for us, we ought to utilize it. Not only is it a key to our relationship with God, but it is how battles are fought and wars are won in the spiritual and physical realms.
So, this is a call to deny the snake that seeks our souls, and submit ourselves again to God.
“Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”James 4:7
This is a reminder that His kingdom is not of this world, that we are sojourners in a foreign land.
“Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.”James 4:7
God has been so faithful to constantly pull me back from wandering off this narrow path He has called us to walk. I am not strong against the influences of the world, but my God is, and He is merciful to me. I am reminded of all that He has done for me, all He will continue to do because He is good.
He wakes me from this stupor to redirect me time and time again.
“My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them out of My hand. My Father who has given them to Me is greater than all. No one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”John 10:27-29
I urge you to go deeper in your relationship with God, no matter where you are right now, it can always go deeper.
As the body and bride of Christ, my prayer for us is that we do not neglect Him, but hear Him, and cherish Him. Cherish the Holiness He has called us to, though the world we live in will persecute us for it. I pray to be joyful in tribulation, for we are promised more to come, but we have greater things waiting for us should we endure until the end.
“But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”1 Corinthians 2:9
“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”Matthew 24:13
“You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.”Isaiah 26:3
Blessed are you my friends, for His names sake.