In a recent Bible reading from Romans chapter 12, I read a little golden nugget of Scripture that has stayed with me for several days and caused me to think about it over and over and ask myself some questions. It's only 11 words in Romans Chapter 12. Paul is writing to the Christians in Rome reminding them of the mercies of God, to be transformed by the Holy Spirit to serve God and others and make their lives more about others than themselves. The Scripture heading that contains verse 12 is: Marks of the True Christian.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
What is my hope? My hope is based on the mercy of God and His promises. That He has had mercy on me, a poor sinful being, and that His promises lay out His plan for me and all believers. That He loves me so much that He sent Jesus to earth to take my punishment in payment for my sin, and now I have the hope which is really God's assurance of forgiveness and His promise of life eternal.
Am I patient in tribulation? The tribulation in my life is merely inconvenience compared to the tribulation of so many others who have lost loved ones in the pandemic, have lost jobs or their business, who face financial ruin or large debt on their credit cards and have little hope of recovery; people living in destructive ways and unable to stop themselves; people being persecuted for their faith. How can I help my neighbor and those truly in need?
Am I constant in prayer?
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Help us to rejoice in the hope that we have in you. Help those who are living with real tribulation and need to know you and know that you care about them. Help us to pray, praise and give thanks for all of your mercies and the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. -Ellen Pratt, School Ministries Staff Assistant