When we need someone who understands our situation we can always turn to a friend or perhaps a Christian Counselor. Even though these could be good and helpful, the best place to turn to is God. In Romans 12:12, we are encouraged to keep hope, be patient, and be in prayer.
In the first part of Romans 12:12, we read "Rejoice in Hope." As a child of God, we have hope in knowing that we can trust God with all that life throws at us. We will do good to remember that our joy comes from the Lord alone and not from our circumstances. So, wherever we find ourselves in life we can know that God will be with us and help us get through it.
In the second part of this verse, we see the instructions to be "Patient in Tribulation", Patience is something that sometimes I can run short on. Being patient is hard when you are in the middle of a problem. If you are anything like me, you may find yourself from time to time feeling like you are about to lose it. So, how can we remain patient when the troubles of this world seem to be all around us causing havoc on everyone we love? We must remember we can do nothing without the Holy Spirit. In John 14:26-28 26 it states: "But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. Now, let's look at the word tribulation. When the word tribulation is often mentioned, we may think of the book of Revelation and all that will happen in the last days. I wanted to know what does this word mean in this context. What I found was the word “tribulation” comes from the Greek word thlipsis meaning “affliction, distress.” It is used for any testing, affliction or distress that people experience throughout life. Wow, I am sure we can all relate to this. We don't have to search for tribulation. It is everywhere. We can't get away from it. If you think about it, at any given moment one of us or someone we know is going through some life-altering situations. So, how do we find patience in these tribulations? How do we hang on to the joy that we know, as Christians, we are supposed to have? Prayer that is where the third part of this verse comes in.
Prayer to a Christian should be like water is to the body. We need it to work the way we are designed to work. As Christians, we have the hope that the rest of the world does not have. Our hope is in knowing that God listens to us as we bring our troubles to Him. He is always working it out. We just need to bring it to him in prayer. Prayer is not just a time to give God a list of all our wants but a time to truly communicate with Him and then listen for how He will direct us. I am still trying to work on this myself. I admit at times I have gotten so caught up in life's drama that I tried to fix it. I have learned that every time I did not prioritize prayer and take it to God, I made a bigger mess of the situation.
So, friend be encouraged, we don't need to try and do this on our own, as a matter of fact we can't. Rejoice in knowing that God has already gone before us and is working it all out for His glory. We can take our deepest heartaches to Him and know He has the answers. He listens and is actively working in and through our lives. No matter what problems we have God is there for us. We can trust Him to give us what we need to survive any situation and still have joy. After all, who knows or loves us better than God? No one; He is our hope and reason to have joy even when everything around us seems to be falling apart. He is not surprised by the circumstances of our situation. He has it all under control. We have to trust in knowing that He is always with us and that He will never leave us.