“Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer” (Romans 12:12).
I have a confession to make.
I am really tired of this Covid-19 pandemic. I am frustrated and tired. I don’t want to be socially distant anymore. I don’t want to worry about getting sick anymore. I don’t want to worry about our members getting sick anymore. I am tired and frustrated.
Ok. Glad to get that off my chest.
Here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter what I think or how I feel about the Covid-19 pandemic. Whether I like it or not, it’s still here. This is still our reality and there’s not a darn thing I can do to change the pandemic and its social consequences.
However, there is something I can change. I can change my attitude.
It’s precisely in such situations the Apostle Paul writes to the Romans, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer” (Romans 12:12). The letter to the Romans is one of Paul’s final letters. Paul is most likely writing this letter in prison. Death is a certain possibility for Paul. That’s when he writes this charge.
- Rejoice in hope
- This isn’t an empty rejoicing. This is rejoicing in the absolute certainty of the hope of Christ.
- That Christ wins, that the Kingdom wins, that the darkness is defeated, that satan loses, these are all certainties.
- That is the source of our hope.
- Be patient in suffering
- Don’t you hate it when someone tells you to be patient?
- Suffering always sucks. It’s never pleasant. It’s never fun. It’s always miserable.
- But that’s why we need to be patient. Suffering has an end. It is not enduring. There will be better days.
- Persevere in prayer
- This is kind of like “be patient.”
- When things are tough, don’t give up. Most importantly, don’t give up praying. Praying itself is the posture and the expectation that the current suffering is not right. Praying is the posture of one who knows that there are better days.
- So, stay at it. Keep praying. Don’t ever give up. Keep on praying.
Rejoice. Be Patient. Persevere.
This too shall end. There will be better days.