“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
Although Romans 12:12 is our daily scripture reading, I believe it necessary to post the surrounding verses as well so we can get a more accurate picture of what God is telling us through Paul. Therefore, below are verses 9-13:
“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”
Romans 12:9-13 ESV
“Let LOVE be genuine” the word for love in Greek is “agapē”. “Agapē” is the only genuine love there is because it’s unconditional. Genuine comes from the Greek word “anupokritos” which means “undissembled, that is, sincere: - without dissimulation (hypocrisy), unfeigned.”
In verse 10 Paul uses the Greek word “philadelphia” which is translated “love” in the English. “Philadelphia” means fraternal affection: - brotherly love (kindness), love of the brethren.
At the end of verse 10 Paul tells us to “Outdo” one another. Make it a competition to see who can be more loving. To be more hospitable toward our brothers and sisters. The word in Greek is “proēgeomai”… meaning - to lead the way for others, that is, show deference: - prefer. So, we should be leading the way in loving one another and showing preference to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
And in todays verse it says:
o “Rejoice in Hope”… Greek word: “elpis”! Meaning… From ἔλπω elpō which is a primary word (to anticipate, usually with pleasure); expectation (abstract or concrete) or confidence: - faith, hope.
o “Be patient in tribulation”…
a. “Patient”! Greek “hupomenō” Meaning… to stay under (behind), that is, remain ; figuratively to undergo, that is, bear (trials), have fortitude, persevere: - abide, endure, (take) patient (-ly), suffer, tarry behind.
b. “Tribulation”! Greek “thlipsis” Meaning… pressure (literally or figuratively): - afflicted,
(-tion), anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, trouble.
o “Be constant in prayer”…
a. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says “Pray without ceasing”! This doesn’t mean we have be constantly in our prayer closet, on our knees in prayer. What’s being said here is that we should always have open communication with God. Always asking for His direction! And most importantly listening for Him to speak to us and through us!
I know this was a lot of breaking down words but, at this stage of life, with everything that’s going on in the world and in the church, I have no doubt we need to begin taking our relationship with Jesus Christ much more serious than we are now. It’s time for the church to quit being a social club… and a gathering place for entertainment under the veil of being called a “church”. As much as we would all like to believe that we are important in this thing we call life, the fact is we are not! Does God love us? Absolutely He does. His Son died for us so we can be forgiven our sin-filled wretchedness and spend eternity with Him. That’s love! That’s Agapē!
Let’s begin today to look outside of ourselves. Let’s begin when making decisions to ask ourselves… how is this decision going to affect others? How will it affect my wife? My Kids? My other family members? And, how will it affect my brothers and sisters in Christ?
A great misconception the world has with Christians is they believe serving the Lord is some kind of “crutch”. I know for a fact after decades of serving the Lord that it’s not a life for the faint hearted. It’s not any easy road but, we have a Helper (the Holy Spirit). We couldn’t do it without Him! And when I use the term “Him”… I’m talking about the TRIUNE GOD!