Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (Romans 12:12, ESV)
Listening to a man being interviewed on the radio, I questioned one bold statement when he declared, “I never have a bad day.” Never? I think most of us would readily admit we’ve had good days and we’ve had some that were pretty rough. How could he say never? Then he continued, “It’s a choice I make. Yes, I have bad things happen, but I choose to have a good day.” This man decided to face life with a positive outlook, even when life wasn’t always smooth and trouble free.
Hearing this man speak reminded me of two men I knew. The first, a wonderful older saint of God, always responded to my “how are you” greeting with a positive, “I am blessed.” The other, a younger man facing critical health issues, always encouraged, “Go be a blessing!” Both men recognized each day, regardless of its troubles, brings blessings from God. In turn, we are to reach out to bless others.
In Romans 12:12 Paul shows us how to face each day joyfully, even when problems try to wear us down. Paul said we are to:
- Rejoice in hope. Yes, life may be hard, but our hope is not based on the uncertainties of our day-to-day life. Our hope stands on God’s faithfulness and His eternal promises. Jeremiah 17:7-8 assures us that the man who places his hope in the Lord is like a tree planted by the waters that will survive the heat and drought.
- Be patient in tribulation. Job 14:1 tells us, “Man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble” (ESV). No one escapes times of hardship, distress, or adversity. But Paul tells us what we suffer here cannot compare to the glory that is to come (Romans 8:18). Our patience in adversity reveals the depth of our trust in God.
- Be constant in prayer. Some people wait until inundated with trouble before taking time to pray. It’s an emergency measure only. But the person who is constant (consistent, steadfast, relentless) in prayer, can “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16, NKJV).
Jeremy Taylor, a 17th century clergy, said, “Enjoy the blessings of this day, if God sends them; and the evils of it bear patiently and sweetly: for this day only is ours, we are dead to yesterday, and we are not yet born to the morrow.”
I’m not sure if the man in the radio interview had any type of belief system that relied on God or if he depended on his own positive thoughts to bring about his good days. I do know that as a child of God, every day I live is a day filled with His blessings. Yes, troubles may come, but God gives me strength to face those troubles with joy. He controls my future, and I am blessed beyond measure.
- “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24, ESV).
- “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11, ESV).
- “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (I Thessalonians 5:18, ESV).