Monday, October 5, 2015

Thoughts on Romans 12; "Be Patient in Tribulation"

Paul knew about tribulation. Paul's life seemed to constantly be, in some way or another, in danger, and he eventually died at the hands of the Romans after being held prisoner for years. In 2 Corinthians 11, he tells those he is writing to that, "Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?"

After all these trials, it is Paul who tells us, in Romans 8:18, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us."

This verse is filled with so much hope. Yes, things may feel bad. But think about what is in store for us through the gift of Christ's salvation. All the blessings we have in this life, surrounded by hardships and mingled with trials of small or large proportions though they may be, are still nothing -nothing- compared to the joy that will be ours when we stand before God in His glory. It was "in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience." Patience. "Be patient in tribulation"... for we have hope.

Sometimes, things are hard. We may not have been shipwrecked or beaten. But sometimes the sin of our human flesh just weights us down in various ways. We let fear chose our actions for us; we end up in a selfish argument; everything just seems to crumble all at once. But through it all, no matter how big the trial may feel to our hurting hearts, we are told to have patience. For we have hope. Hope in the Savior who will not neglect to finish the good work that He has started. Hope that these things are not the end of the story. Hope in Him. A hope that is not seen, but sure just the same.

"Be patient in tribulation", for we have hope.

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"May the Lord, the God of your fathers... bless you!" Deuteronomy 1:11