“Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer” (Romans 12:12).

How am I to continue in prayer? Steadfastly. Yet, steadfastness characterizes all three main thoughts in this verse. Hope must be steadfast in order for me to rejoice in life. Tribulation is patiently endured steadfastly in prayer. So, I see this triad tied together with the ideas of steadfastness or persistence – keep on keeping on. 

I am able to rejoice in trying times because I know trying times will end. This is what hope is all about. Hope confidently sees the end of all things. If hope departs, joy departs as well. If I want joy in my life today, I will focus on eternal hope not temporal hype. 

Hope is foundational for patience in tribulation. Romans 5 illustrates how important hope is when it comes to tribulations. Since I have been justified by faith, I have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Along with justification comes access to grace in which believers stand.  It is then that we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 

“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character, and character, hope” (Romans 5.3-4). 

Steadfastness is indicative of a transforming love within me. Romans 5.5 says that “hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Hope and patience increase as I continue steadfastly in prayer.  Prayer is critical. The number one characteristic of good prayer is that it continues steadfastly. It persists. It doesn’t happen naturally. Prayer is something I must do consciously and deliberately. It is real work. Transforming love is a love that rejoices in hope, endures patiently in tribulation, and continues steadfastly in prayer. 

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