Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12
I am an orderly sort of person, tending to compartmentalize things. At work, people would laugh at how neat my desk top and drawers were- everything laid out just so. Yes, I alphabetize my spices and hang my clothes according to color.
So when I see repetition in the Bible my spiritual ears perk up. It seems saying things in threes seem to be a way Scripture adds emphasis. That is what I first noticed about this passage. Then I saw it was 12:12 – ah hah!
What a perfect recipe for the Christian walk! Three little things which can be boundaries to keep our paths straight and our eyes on our Lord.
Rejoice in hope – Rejoice in the Lord always the psalms say. Rejoice knowing that our hope is in the Lord, and whatever comes our way, He will either give us the strength to bear it or remove it from us according to Frances DeSale, a 16th century monk. To hope is more than wishing. Hope is being sure of the outcome. It anticipates, not dream of the maybes in life.
Be patient in tribulation. When we have hope in the outcome, it helps us to have hope in the process towards that outcome. Patience is not my strong point. I’d rather rip the band-aid off and yank the scab with it. I want to hurry the thing along not realizing God has great lessons for me in the process and new chances for me, and others watching me go through it, to see His blessings and provisions. We all have our own wilderness journey to trek. There can be joy in the journey.
Be constant in prayer. For me this should have been first on the list because it is the key to being able to do the other two. When I am in constant relationship with God and the lines of communciation are always open for He and me to speak or listen to each other, life goes more smoothly, hope builds and pateince strengthens.
Three things to do, twelve plus twelve hours a day, twelve months out of the year. How my dayear would go differently! What about yours?