Strength For Today

A journey of keeping my heart, mind, and body in TODAY

Love Journey: Joyful in Hope

on February 18, 2014

12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 

In a love relationship of any sort, affliction is the norm rather than the exception.  What exactly is an affliction? It is something that causes pain or suffering.  Every relationship goes through it.  Let’s take a look at how God tells us to handle our afflictions in our relationships.

1.  Be joyful in hope.

joyful: feeling, expressing, or causing great pleasure or happiness

in: one definition I found struck me: expressing the situation of being enclosed or surrounded by something

hope: 1. a feeling of expectation or a desire for a certain thing to happen  2. A person or thing that may help or save someone.

Unpacked:  Express great pleasure in being surrounded by a feeling of expectation for a person that WILL save us: Our Savior – Christ!

Notice that it doesn’t say “express great pleasure because your situation is a good one” or “Express great pleasure because there is no pain”.  No.  The first part of this verse clearly says that our pleasure should come from ONE place:  Christ.  Amen!

2. (Be) patient in affliction

Patient: able to wait; slow to lose one’s temper

in: being surrounded by something

affliction:  something that causes pain or suffering

Unpacked:  Be able to wait; be slow to lose your temper when surrounded by pain or suffering.

3. (be) faithful in prayer

Faithful: loyal, constant, steadfast

in: another definition I came across:  expressing a state or condition

prayer: communion with God

Unpacked: Be loyal, constant, steadfast in a state of communion with God.

So, if I am understanding these beautiful words correctly, then God’s desire for us when we meet with afflictions in our relationships is this:

Express great pleasure in being surrounded by a feeling of expectation for a person that WILL save us: Our Savior – Christ!  Be able to wait; be slow to lose your temper when surrounded by pain or suffering.  Be loyal, constant, and steadfast in a state of communion with God.

Yes, God absolutely knows what He is doing.  These are exactly the words I needed to have impressed upon my heart tonight.  I was praying for some encouragement tonight, as I embark on a very deep and meaningful – yet incredibly difficult fast….  These words are it.  Encouragement to stick through the difficulties by remaining joyful in my hope, patient in my pain, and in constant communication with HIM!  Amen!!  Thank you God!

REFLECT

1.  Do you find JOY in knowing that Christ is your Savior?

2.  Do you find it easy or difficult to wait on God during seasons of uncertainty in your relationships?

3.  Do you remain constant in prayer during both good and difficult times in your relationships?

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