Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Wednesday in the Word~ Jesus is our hope!


Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. Romans 12:12 (CSB)

Are you tired? Are you hurting? Are you weary from this world we live in? Are you a tiny bit fearful of what could come, because of the illness we’re still seeing all around us? If you answered yes to these questions, may I encourage you for a few moments through the Word of God? 


First, I take great comfort that Jesus knew what it was like to face such things when He walked on this earth a few thousand years ago. He knew what it was like to be surrounded by hurting people and would often withdraw from the crowds, the Bible tells us in the New Testament. He knew what it was like to be sad when His friend Lazarus died and in John 11:35, we read one short statement regarding this: Jesus wept. He knew what it was like to be disappointed in friends, like when He kept catching His disciples sleeping in the garden right before He was arrested. 


I take comfort in this because that means that we can go to Him with whatever is on our heart— knowing that He hears our prayers. I am greatly encouraged, knowing that though this world may seem like it’s going mad, Jesus is the hope of the world. We are never without hope, friends, because we have Jesus. He is the only one who will never let us down, He will never leave us, He will never let us struggle through on our own. 


When we keep our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2), troubling things around us seem to fall away because we aren’t as focused on them. Romans 12:12 says to rejoice in hope and we can do that, knowing that Jesus is right there to help us through and we can rejoice, knowing that He is trustworthy. 


The second thing listed in Romans 12:12 is to be patient in affliction. This one doesn’t come as easily for me, but when I pause to consider the lesson I may need to learn through whatever affliction I face, it helps me to pray through whatever I am facing. Just recently, my family and I walked through a difficult time together. It was not easy and I was ready for it to be over quickly, but Jesus helped me see that I could trust Him with each new day. Each day brought a new set of troubles, but He was right there with me to help me through and I learned a thing or two about being patient in the learning. I simply started each day with Him and I talked to Him, which leads me to the third and final command in Romans 12:12.


Be persistent in prayer. I have the tendency to stop praying when I walk through a difficult situation, but that is when I need to be praying the most. It’s hard to remember to be persistent with our prayer life and just the other day a friend of mine made a very powerful statement. My friend Matt Hess said this on Facebook: “I have never met a believer that does not believe in the power of prayer. It’s the actual prayer that we struggle with. Holy Spirit, give us the discipline to devote ourselves fully to prayer.”


I know this to be true; do you? 


I pray this verse from Romans 12 has encouraged you today, friend. As we go about this holiday season, may we never lose sight of what the holiday is all about: Jesus, our hope and the light of the world. There’s a Christmas song I love that is sung by Francesca Battistelli, called “Heaven Everywhere”. Will you join me in reading and prayerfully considering these lyrics during this season? 


I  hear the bells, they're ringing loud and clear

You can't help but love this time of year

It's Christmastime, there's something in the air

There's a little bit of heaven everywhere

Somehow there's a little more of love

And maybe there's a little less of us

Or maybe we're just slightly more aware

There's a little bit of heaven everywhere

It's the smile on a man who has finally found hope

It's the tears of a mother whose child has come home

It's the joy that we feel and the love that we share

There's a little bit of heaven everywhere

There's a little bit of heaven everywhere

It's funny how it takes a holiday

To show us how the world could truly change

If we all took the time to really care

There'd be a little more of heaven everywhere

It's the smile on a man who has finally found hope

It's the tears of a mother whose child has come home

It's the joy that we feel and the love that we share

There's a little bit of heaven everywhere

There's a little bit of heaven everywhere

It's the grace that we show to a world that needs hope

It's giving our lives knowing they're not our own

It's the joy that we feel and the love that we share

There's a little bit of heaven everywhere

There's a little bit of heaven everywhere

Angels we have heard on high

Sweetly singing o'er the plain

And the mountains in reply

Echoing their joyous strains

Hallelujah, hallelujah

It's the joy that we feel and the love that we share

There's a little bit of heaven everywhere

There's a little bit of heaven everywhere

There's a little bit of heaven everywhere

Angels we have heard on high

 

Sweetly singing o'er the plain

 

I am praying for you, friend. Thank you for reading my blog—I pray these words encouraged you today. Love to all.


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