Rejoicing in hope. . .

Romans 12 12

In Romans 12:12 we find the Verse of the Day for May 3, 2014:

Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Recently as a spate of devastating storms ravaged the nation, I thought of a teaching series related to the storms of life. I recall the words of Dr. Aaron Parker, who spoke of the cycle of life, whereby, as believers, we are either in the midst of a storm or coming out of a storm and preparing to go through another storm. The statement was made following one of the most devastating and destructive storms in recent memory, Hurricane Katrina, occurring in 2005. My sister, Cheryl, who lives outside of Atlanta, had sent me the series of sermons focusing on storms, by Dr. Parker, her pastor. One of the messages inspired the following poem that uses Romans 12:12 as its epigraph or scriptural introduction:

The Prayer Directive: Strength between Storms

 

Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation,

continuing steadfastly in prayer;

Romans 12:12 [NKJV]

 

When it seems that we have reached our outer limits

Of exhausted options and can no longer cope,

Wrestling with unbelief, our foe that inhibits,

God’s word reminds us to keep rejoicing in hope.

We know that in patience we possess our soul.

In the midst of life’s pressures, we remain secure,

Assured that in Christ Jesus, we have been made whole,

Watching and waiting with renewed strength to endure.

As stately palm trees, we yield and bend in the wind,

And pray in the spirit, with requests that never cease.

As sweet-smelling incense, our fervent prayers ascend

In greater measure, as our petitions increase.

Though storms may overwhelm, we are still in God’s care:

Therefore rejoice, be patient, continue in prayer.

 

The Verse of the Day opens with a reminder that we should be continually rejoicing in hope. We are also mindful that Jesus Christ is described as our “blessed hope,” and because of Jesus Christ’s victory over sin, sickness and even death itself, we have hope that lives eternally.

As a child I have fond memories of singing in the Junior Choir, where I recall “leading” my first song at the age of eight or nine. Actually I did not “sing,” but I narrated the verses while the choir sang the lyrics to “On Christ, the Solid Rock,” a “vintage hymn,” which resounds with “hope.” The Maranatha Singers offer a moving rendition the timeless hymn that has come to mean even more to me over the years.

In the midst of difficult situations, we reflect upon the goodness of God who has been faithful in past instances, and the Word of God assures us of His steadfast love, as the New Living Translation reminds that we are to:

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.

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