"Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation..."
Text: Romans 12:12
A REALISTIC APPROACH TO LIFE AND MINISTRY
Paul’s theology was uplifting to the soul! However, he was also very realistic in his outlook to life and ministry. He had a very down-to-earth approach. Let us consider his outlook as expressed in this text.
“Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation,
continuing steadfastly in prayer.”
1. Rejoicing in hope
a) Paul’s faith had a very keen sense of certainty (Cf. Romans 4-5).
b) He always balanced “hope” with “faith” (Cf. Romans 5).
c) “Hope” to Paul was just “not-yet realized faith”.
d) The believer may sometimes have to wait upon the Lord; he must learn how to rejoice in hope.
2. Patient in tribulation
a) Tribulation must be expected.
b) But with faith and hope the believer can cope in the most adverse of circumstances.
c) He must add one more virtue to the above; he must include “patience” (literally “perseverance” in times of tribulation.
3. Continuing steadfastly in prayer
a) Prayer is a ministry that the believer must ever seek to cultivate.
b) He must learn well the many deep lessons of prayer.
c) He must “continue” to pray with great steadfastness.
i) The context suggests “tribulation”.
ii) The believer brings his tribulation to God in hope.
iii) He continues to be steadfast in his faith and hope in God.
This stance espoused by Paul enabled him to succeed wonderfully in ministry!