Love in Action - Romans 12:12

Continuing with our “Love in Action Series from Romans 12, let’s look at verse 12. This week’s verse issues a tri-fold command, beginning with the instruction to be joyful in hope.

Hope is a word pregnant with possibility, but offers no definitive timeline or guarantee. Joyful hope seems to almost certainly imply that it is accompanied by confidant faith that what is hoped for will likely come to pass--similar to the words of Hebrews 1:1 (Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see). Without the presence of faith, hope can be merely a fingers-crossed wish beyond our control. The second command in Romans 12:12 is to be patient in affliction. Like hope, the affliction is a circumstance without a defined schedule or the promise of an end.

The dictionary defines patience as the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. We often used this word with our children, usually accompanied by the unspoken understanding that with patience would come reward. The irony is that, like hope, the outcome of patience is not dependent on any action on our part; rather, it relies on our willingness to wait.

The third, and final directive in verse 12 is to be faithful in prayer. While the first two commands seemed to be all about doing nothing, this last command gives us plenty to do in the waiting. If, instead of pouring our energy into fear, worry, or complaining, we devote our attention to prayer, it will almost certainly produce the joy and patience required in our hopeful patience. It enables our love in action!


PS - Want to keep this verse with you all week long? Just take a screenshot of the image (or download it) to use as your lock screen!

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