Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. Romans 12:12 NLT
If you're like me, I find it hard to be patient when things are going badly. We are used to things going well so often that at the first sign of trouble, we become thrown off balance. Our world becomes shaken, and we begin to question. How did this happen? Did we do something wrong? Is God punishing us, or does he not care?
The question of why we need to suffer at all is age-old without a definitive answer. We know that believers and non-believers experience troubles (Matthew 5:45). We have the example of Job, a blameless man in God's sight who had things go horribly wrong, losing family, wealth, and health. Sometimes, our troubles are brief interruptions and inconveniences; other times, like Job, they are more prolonged and devastating.
However, in today's verse, Paul offers two aids to help us through these difficult times; hope and prayer. First, we have hope through our faith in Jesus Christ. He was no stranger to suffering during his time on earth, so he understands and appreciates our trials and tribulations. It is through Jesus's death and resurrection we have hope in this life and the next. Secondly, as we present our prayers to our compassionate and loving friend, he carries our please to our Father, acting as our intercessor. While this may not speed up the time of trouble, we find comfort in sharing our burdens with the one who gives us hope, and through the Holy Spirit, we receive the peace, strength, and guidance to navigate these tumultuous periods.
Precious and loving Father, we thank you for the hope we find in you. When we experience times of trouble, we have the assurance that you are with us. You listen to our prayers and provide everything we need to see us through. We pray today for all who are experiencing a time of tribulation. You know each situation and precisely what they need. In the name of your Son, Jesus, we pray. Amen